Karl Fogel

Karl Fogel at

I think of myself as someone who's good at English spelling. But then yesterday I discovered that a supposedly familiar word is originally spelled "impostor" and that "imposter" is a recent variant...

...ah, I think you can all finish the rest of this joke yourselves!

heh :-)

that got me wondering whether 'impost' exists as a verb in English.  I can't imagine what 'imposter' would derive form otherwise.  turns out impost is only a noun, and impose is the verb, but impost[oe]r carries not only the sense of imposition that associates it with impose, but also that of false pretenses.  AFAIK only the latter meaning survived in pt and es; I was surprised by the non-fraudulent sense it can have in English.  I wonder whether it is etymological or accidental.

FSFLA has had this campaign against imposed tax software, a lossy translation of the "softwares impostos"  pun: impostos is plural for both imposed and tax, and we chose plural because somehow the pun didn't seem to work in the singular form.  I might have suggested "imposed impost software" for the English translation, had I known the word "impost" back then :-)

Alexandre Oliva at 2021-06-25T02:19:34Z

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