the con game.

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by leopold, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. leopold Valued Senior Member

    what does the word "con" mean to you?

    i do not want a dictionary definition. i have a dictionary, i also have internet access. i can look up the word and i can type it in a search box.
    that isn't what i want.

    when you see the printed word "con" what comes to mind?
    when you hear it what comes to mind.

    the first things i think of is "convict" or "anti"

    there will no doubt be a post where someone says "it depends on the context".
    in that case YOU determine what the context is.
    i am interested in first impressions here.
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    The opposite of Pro
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  5. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    The first thing I think of is "con" as in "confidence game" or more generically a "trick."

    I only see con as in "convict" in the form of "ex-con" and only see "con" as "contra" in the phrase "pros and cons." I have only very, very rarely seen it used to mean "memorize."

    I am aware of the other meanings, but if we are playing word association here, con makes me think of conning someone.
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Some words simply do depend a lot more on context than others. "Con" is one of them because it is entirely a slang word. It has no "standard" definition in formal language that will automatically pop into our heads, other things being equal.

    So, to strip away as much context as possible... Suppose I saw a billboard proclaiming, "Tonight on Fox TV, a New Show about Cons!" The chance is 50/50 that I would assume it's about convicts or confidence rackets. I wouldn't think of the other kind of cons without pros. MadTV (I think) did a skit called "Prose and Cons," about a book club in a prison.

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    If someone said it to me... Hmm...
    "What do you know about cons, Fraggle?"
    "Genghis, Kublai, or that dude in the Star Trek movie?"

    "Neocon" means "neo-conservative," but nobody ever calls the old-fashioned ones "cons."
  8. Enmos Valued Senior Member

    If i see the word con unconnected to any other word:
    Fraud, like in con-man.
  9. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    When I read the title of your thread, I immediately thought of confidence schemes. But that’s probably only because you used the phrase “con game,” which is a generic term for a confidence scheme…so you (unwittingly?) provided some context in your thread title.
  10. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

    Because I was in the Linguistics forum when I saw the thread title, I thought of conlangs. Independent of this context, I would have thought of a con man, or the act of conning someone.
  11. ashpwner Registered Senior Member

    erm being conned as in someone tricking me and getting money from me
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2007
  12. Neildo Gone Registered Senior Member

    If 'pro' is the opposite of 'con', then is Congress the opposite of Progress?

    - N
  13. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    If want interesting old example (from current issue of The Economist) see new post in old thread "Who killed the electric car" where question is finally answered after 193 prior atempts.

    PS at link you will also learn the name of the man who is probably responsible for global warming, if that is man-made. He was a German con-man.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2007
  14. Zephyr Humans are ONE Registered Senior Member


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