19 January 2010

Bogus or Spurious?


English often has two completely different words for exactly the same thing.  An example of this is 'purchaser' and 'buyer'.  This is because the language contains elements of older, less used languages such as Latin and Greek.

We've been trying to decide between 'bogus' and 'spurious', to describe modern claims that various properties are village greens.  Some examples of this national scandal are illustrated in Case Studies on the Campaign for Real Village Greens website.

'Spurious' was the early front runner, and seemed to have the pedigree to stay the course.  For example when the president of the Country Land and Business Association, William Worsley, was interviewed by the BBC about these fake village greens he used the phrases 'spurious applications' and  'applications are completely spurious'.

So 'spurious village green' has a ring to it, and is 100% accurate.

But 'bogus' has recently emerged as a contender.  It's shorter and has a more blunt sound to it. In the marketplace of ideas, 'bogus village green' may start to fight it out with 'spurious village green' to describe the abuses of well-meaning legislation that nimbys in England and Wales have been getting up to.

A scandal has recently been unearthed and publicised, about illegal immigrants who would quite like to live in Britain but aren't entitled to.  The media reporting on this subject usually referred to the device in question as a 'bogus marriage' and hardly ever as a spurious marriage.

Regarding the shameful fake village green industry that has now grown up, we shall see whether 'bogus' or 'spurious' wins out.

Of course, there is also 'fake' and 'sham'...

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