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2 Comments

  • I still have doubts about the difference between fake and forgery. Could they be used interchangeably?

  • Sergio: a good question about fake and forgery. The simple answer is that they are not usually interchangeable (though it’s a characteristic of close synonyms like these that they can be used interchangeably *in some contexts* – see below). If we focus on the adjectival uses, the most frequent collocates of “forged” are these: passport, banknote, signature, document, cheque/check, licence, certificate, receipt: all are official documents of some kind, which someone has created or copied with dishonest or criminal intent. “Fake” modifies a very different set of nouns, the most frequent being: tan, fur, moustache, beard, Rolex, designer (e.g. fake designer jeans), blood, leather, diamonds, and even breasts.
    Having said that, the “fake” collocates do also include passport and a few other “document” words – so that’s the area of overlap. (But it doesn’t work the other way around: you can’t have a forged beard or tan…forgery always implies careful, meticulous work aimed at creating something which cannot be distinguished from the real thing.) The outlier here is works of art: we know that paintings and similar can be “forgeries”, but for some reason we don’t see the collocation “forged painting”.