[Ads-l] "snorkel" mailbox

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 1 18:59:05 EST 2017


The article describes the criminal activity the new boxes are designed to
thwart thus:
>>>>>
She added that the new mailboxes are designed to deter thieves from
"fishing" for mail by rigging adhesive tape or other devices into the
opening and then retrieving it to hunt for cash or checks.
<<<<<

The article consistently refers to this activity as a "scam". I would not
have used that word, which I have always considered to involve deception,
whereas this type of thievery involves no interaction between the criminal
and the victim at all.

Merriam-Webster online (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scam)

Definition of scam

   1.

   :  a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation
   2. - an insurance *scam*

 So is this a one-time aberration or a spread or change in the meaning of
the word as used? And is *it* in the OED?

Mark

On Mar 1, 2017 2:14 PM, "Dan Goncharoff" wrote:

I noticed the following story today:
https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20170228/inwood/mail-
fishing-scam-mail-theft-uptown-us-postal-inspection-service

This seems an incorrect use of "snorkel", which I always thought referred
to the mailboxes with an extended snout that allow drivers to deposit mail
without leaving their cars.

I can trace the term "snorkel collection box" to a 1997 USPS Glossary of
Postal Terms:
https://ribbs.usps.gov/addressing/documents/tech_guides/pubs/Pub32.pdf

Is this use of snorkel in the OED?

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