[Ads-l] burner account

Chris Waigl chris at LASCRIBE.NET
Mon Sep 18 23:45:39 UTC 2017

My friends frequently talk about the option or advisability of carrying a
burner laptop or burner phone (or general a burner device) on travels
outside the US, for the eventuality of intrusive scrutiny from customs and
border control officers. (This would imply leaving their real phones,
laptop and/or devices at home.)


On Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 3:03 PM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com>

> In an Mashable article today, I ran into the expression “burner account”.
> Please, good lord, tell me Kevin Durant is arguing with trolls on secret
> social media accounts
> http://mashable.com/2017/09/18/kevin-durant-secret-twitter/ <
> http://mashable.com/2017/09/18/kevin-durant-secret-twitter/>
> Brian de Los Santos
>> Internet inspectors connected the dots on Reddit and claimed that Durant
> meant to reply to @ColeCashwell using a fake burner account to defend his
> own honor, thus hiding his identity when engaging in Twitter schadenfreude.
> The Oxford Living Dictionaries (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/
> definition/burner <https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/burner>)
> say that a “burner” is "A cheap mobile phone paid for in advance”, a
> definition that Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/burner <
> https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/burner>) narrows slightly: "A mobile phone
> used for only a short time and then thrown away so that the owner cannot be
> traced.”
> In 2014, Chris Messina discussed this term in "Adding ‘unlisted' and
> ‘burner' to the modern lexicon” (https://medium.com/chris-
> messina/unlisted-and-burner-two-new-terms-to-learn-78d3a2c17f5a <
> https://medium.com/chris-messina/unlisted-and-burner-
> two-new-terms-to-learn-78d3a2c17f5a>).
> Messina provides a YouTube video that is evidently from “The Wire” as an
> example of the sort of burner phone that the OLD and Wiktionary talk about.
> He argues that the key element in this use of “burner” is that the item
> being described has an attribute that can be replaced, such as a phone
> number. In other words, a burner (phone) is a burner because the phone
> number can be discarded without a connection to the owner, as opposed to a
> landline or social security number which cannot.
> Messina also mentions the use of burner accounts on Kinja (
> https://kinja.desk.com/customer/en/portal/articles/
> 1192515-what-is-a-burner-account- <https://kinja.desk.com/
> customer/en/portal/articles/1192515-what-is-a-burner-account->), which
> makes explicit the use of an account that does not identify the owner.
> It’s not completely clear to me, but I think Los Santos’s use of “fake in
> “fake burner account” is redundant, but perhaps you can argue that since
> Durant was faking being someone else, the word “fake” adds semantic meaning.
> Benjamin Barrett
> Formerly of Seattle, WA
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Chris Waigl . chris.waigl at gmail.com . chris at lascribe.net
http://eggcorns.lascribe.net . http://chryss.eu

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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