This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Sunday, 8 July 2012

Sunday Rest: Word Not To Use Today: scam.

The worst thing about the word scam is that it gives an affectionate tinge to a nasty thing. 

In India, where I'm told that people have to be particularly expert in surviving scams, there is a lovely term for a collection of scams, the rather bewitching scamayana.

Scambaiting is pretending to fall for a scam in order to waste the scammer's time, and perhaps to help bring him to justice. I like the sound of that.

Scam by itself is sneering, though.

And it's the wrong people who are being sneered at, I'm afraid.

Sunday Rest: Word Not To Use Today: scam. The Oxford English Dictionary says that scam is an obscure form of the word shame, but it's certainly not an obscure word nowadays, and I wonder if the source of our current word scam is entirely different.

I note that the ancient River Scamander was noted for its exceptionally devious course.



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