Looting vs theft

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Thu Apr 17 16:42:56 UTC 2003

>looting certainly is theft; it's spontaneous, largely unplanned theft
>(involving taking by force, usually by crudely breaking into

But I think the word "looting" can very reasonably be applied to the
planned theft of a museum's contents. There is a pertinent distinction
between the transitive and intransitive use of "loot" maybe. RHUD gives for
transitive "loot":

<<6. to carry off or take (something) as loot: [example:] _to loot a
nation's art treasures._

     7. to despoil by taking loot; plunder or pillage (a city, house,
etc.), as in war.

     8. to rob, as by burglary or corrupt activity in public office:
[example:] _to loot the public treasury._>>

-- Doug Wilson

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