As a lawyer – although, I rather like to describe myself as someone who attended to law school since I generally do not relate with lawyers and I practice seldomly nowadays- you learn to work with language.
Succinctly, you deal with three characteristics that language has:
1-) Vagueness – which relates to the lack of precision that certain word bears
2-) Ambiguity – relates to the multiple uses the same word can have
3-) Emotional bias – quite a few words have an implicit connotation to the receptor of the message. For example: “murder”, which generally evokes a negative feeling or reaction in the receptor of the message. In terms of trading, for example, Stop-loss or Take-profit, have two very different meanings because of how we realate to them and what the trigger into our past experiences.
Furthermore, depending on which variation of Spanish you use, you might find quite opposite meanings. That is the case for “curro”.
In its slang meaning, it is used by Spaniards to define “work”, or “job”, while Argentineans use it to define “robbery” 🙂
As the Argentine slang dictionary defines it: curro is a scam, a fraud, a deception; a dirty business, an illegal arrangement. The corresponding verb is currar [vt]. Note that this word means ‘work, job’ (no negative connotations) in Spain.
Seems that the description of curro fits the case for George Packer’s chronicle of Raj Rajaratam/Galleon’s Fund insider trading case in the current issue of The New Yorker magazine. I’ve been interested in this case since I’ve first read about it. However, it was difficult for me to be able to keep up with it on a daily basis. The article portraits the whole set of events in an organized manner, plus and its various ramifications.
This has left me wondering why go to the movies, if what happens in real life tends to outstrip it.
Better read with suspense music and good drink.