No. of Recommendations: 3
Dictionaries and definitions are based on how terms are used, so if many people say they're the same thing, they are the same thing

*ONLY* to the ignorant

No - usage drives definitions.
When a dictionary writes/updates a word's definition it is describing how the word is used - NOT how some people think it should be used.

There are many words that have multiple definitions - some even contradictory - because that is how the words are used in real life.

An example you might be familiar with is "realtor" - it has two definitions:

1> a real estate broker or appraiser who is a member of the National Association of Realtors

2> ([r-]) a real estate agent

Legally it's #1 - but many people talk about any RE agent as a "realtor", whether they are a member of the NAR or not.

An example that is usually more appropriate for programmers would be definitions 3a and 3b of hacker
(Many people who were early creators/adopters of the term in computer parlance used it in meaning 3a, and strongly disagreed with 3b being an appropriate definition - yet it has by usage become defined as 3b as well.

The term 'loan officer' describes a subset of both loan brokers and retail lenders,
I believe you meant to say a superset of ...
Print the post  


Useful Resources
Our Home Center has all you need to make buying and owning a home a great experience. Get or refinance a mortgage and much more!
Buying/Selling a Home FAQ

Mortgage Professor
Offsite resource for mortgage questions.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.