Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

RFV-sense discussion[edit]

Keep tidy.svg

The following information has failed Wiktionary's verification process..

Failure to be verified may either mean that this information is fabricated, or is merely beyond our resources to confirm. We have archived here the disputed information, the verification discussion, and any documentation gathered so far, pending further evidence.
Do not re-add this information to the article without also submitting proof that it meets Wiktionary's criteria for inclusion. See also Wiktionary:Previously deleted entries.

Carrying on from this fruitless discussion:
Give Connel his due process — leave this sense in existence for one month and no longer. Then, on the 29th of July, delete it, and let’s be done with this matter. Furthermore, remove therefrom and from all other entries in Wiktionary any unsubstantiated claims that usuress is non-standard. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 01:31, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

This is new. Never before has the application of a correct tag been subject to an RFV. Granted, references have been requested before (and numerous ones supplied in this case,) but RFVing it is quite a new twist. --Connel MacKenzie 02:09, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
This is the silliest thing ever. The cites Connel provided demonstrate pretty clearly that even when usuress is a misspelling, it's a misspelling (or pronunciation-guided typo) of the non-word usurous, which is in turn a non-standard combination of usury and -ous. What, are we going to start including rare-​to-​the-​point-​of-​non-existent misspellings of non-standard words? Next up: ai'nt? —RuakhTALK 02:17, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
If you are reading only the tripe that User:Doremwitzr has been spouting, I suppose you could reach that conclusion. Please try looking at the references I referred to, at the very beginning, with open eyes. --Connel MacKenzie 06:44, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Believe it or not, I followed the entirety of that discussion, reading both your comments and his, and following the various links, and while I didn't agree with everything he said, you didn't say much of anything to agree or disagree with. You kept alluding to references that you had supposedly provided, while providing nothing that could reasonably merit the term. Non-inclusion in a spell-checker's dictionary as evidence of non-standard status? Come on, you know better than that. —RuakhTALK 07:48, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
It wasn't non-inclusion so much as the suggested alternatives. I will admit that we don't have solid criteria on what constitutes a common misspelling, but referencing other sources that suggest alternatives, does indeed seem reasonable. It also is the approach taken in previous disputes, with only suggestions that we look further at "relative frequency." So, no, I don't "know better than that." Also of note is that Google itself no longer suggests (as it did at the start of the Tea Room discussion) usurers as the "did you mean" suggestion for usuress. For this particular word, I investigated further only when that caught my eye, so that fact is disconcerting in several ways. If they are in the habit of actually watching discussions here, I #1) am more than slightly amazed, #2) have renewed fears about relying too heavily on their results. --Connel MacKenzie 20:15, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
I suspect that more likely than people at Google watching discussions here (although as anyone can read these discussions, it isn't impossible) is that our discussions have generated so many more instances of the word and spawned an exponential increase in searches* for the term that the software has probably stopped regarding it as a miss-typed search query. This is just a guess, but if I were writing the software that suggests typos, I would take into account that if there were, e.g. 20 searches for "Wiktionari" which returned at most a handful of results, but there were 100 times as many searches for "Wiktionary" which returned vastly more results that it is quite likely that the former search term is an error - although not guaranteed. I would also take into account how many people who searched for "Wiktionari" clicked the "did you mean..." link, and presume that they did indeed mean that, whereas if they followed links to the search results and/or viewed a second page of results I would presume that the search for "Wiktionari" was not a mistake. If the number and proportion of searchers who I presume to mean "Wiktionari" goes up significantly, and the number of hits for the term also increases then I would assume that it is a new term and stop suggesting it is a misspelling. This doesn't mean anything regarding whether the word is a spelling error or not, as this would happen if "Wiktionari" became part of a meme. *If someone from Google is reading this I would be interested to see what effect the discussions here have had on the number of searches for "usuress". Thryduulf 21:10, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I see! That's more reasonable — but still, I think, somewhat misguided. You have too much faith in spell-checkers' suggested replacements; generally all they do is go through their list of legal words and suggest all the ones that are close (FSV of "close") to the word they're suggesting replacements for. In Google's case, I don't think it even has an actual dictionary underneath; I think it suggests words based on frequency of other people searching for them. For example, google:how to hook up a hose to a kitchen sink asks if the user meant google:how to hook up a house to a kitchen sink, and a few months ago it suggested "horse" instead. The fact that google:usuress no longer suggests "usurers" likely means that people so rarely search for "usurers" that Wiktionarians' recent research for this entry and these discussions has tipped the balance. (Good news, though: at least google:usurers doesn't suggest "usuress"!) —RuakhTALK 20:50, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
I have to agree — this is silly. I highly doubt the misspelling sense meets the threshold for 'common misspellings'. Even if it does, it appears to be a misspelling, as Ruakh points out, of usurous — itself a misspelling. — Beobach972 03:38, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
As for whether it is standard or non-standard : usurer itself is, as has been pointed out, not an everyday word, and it is therefore no surprise that usuress is not one. As with lion and lioness, though, I do not see that the use of a gender-neutral catch-all in any way makes the specifically female term non-standard in those cases where it is used. — Beobach972 03:52, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
"Usurer" is not such an uncommon a term; perhaps on the East side of the Atlantic, it is rare? The lion/lioness distinction is not similar, as most (if not all?) animals are referred to as "the male ..." or "the female ...", even when there is a more accurate zoological term (such as, presumably, lioness.) --Connel MacKenzie 06:44, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
"Lioness" is not a zoological term, except in the sense that any animal word is; zoologists say "female lion". "Lioness" is a somewhat dated non-technical way of saying "female lion", much as "murderess" is a dated way of saying "female murderer", "usuress" is a dated way of saying "female usurer", and so on. (There are some "-ess" words that have continued to thrive, such as "stewardess", "actress" in the sense of a female film actor, "waitress", and so on, but most fell by the wayside and are now dated or even archaic. This makes them weird, but not non-standard.) —RuakhTALK 07:48, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

RFVfailed. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 04:25, 30 July 2007 (UTC) Absurd out-of-the-ordinary declaration rolled back. For the Doremítzwr (talkcontribsglobal account infodeleted contribsnukeedit filter logpage movesblockblock logactive blocks) to take the position that he is qualified to start deciding RFV outcomes that he has a specific POV-pushing agenda on is beyond absurd. As his first "RFV" determination, I believe this is only further evidence that he is incapable of contributing to in a productive manner. Had he waited for the RFV backlog to catch up before doing this, I would still object to his underhanded tactics for this particular entry. Everyone who speaks English knows this is an error. Going out of his way to game the system is an enormous waste of everyone's time. --Connel MacKenzie 00:59, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Don't be silly. You added an unattested misspelling-of sense to an entry because of personal animus. (I'm not sure if the animus was toward the word or the contributor or both, but you can't deny it was your chief motivation for flouting the established convention of including only very common misspellings.) An editor would not have been out of line to simply remove this sense; instead, one decided to show you extreme deference by bringing it here and publically giving you a chance to demonstrate that the misspelling at least met the normal CFI (and note that even then it wouldn't meet our higher standard for misspellings, but whatever). He made quite clear that the sense would be removed after a month if no one had provided (would have provided? had been to provide? I don't see how to combine a past-subjunctive with a conditional perfect) any evidence to support this sense. No such evidence was provided. He then, quite rightly, marked it RFV failed and removed the sense. As you might say, his only mistake was bothering to wait a month for you to offer support for your obviously-​both-​ridiculous-​and-​irrelevant-​given-​our-​CFI-​for-​misspellings claim. —RuakhTALK 02:21, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, it is now you who are being silly. User:Doremitzwr is on only to disrupt. Your encouragement of his nonsense is giving his arguments strength they do not merit, nor have on their own. I explained my actions above. Your ABF (here and on your talk page) is inexplicable. You'll note clearly, that I made no assumption of bad faith; rather, waited for User:Doremitzwr to prove (time and again) his bad-faith efforts. This term remains an error. No justification has been given for expediting this particular RFV, but clearly is part of the firestorm being used at this time to push nonsense entries forward as valid. Again, in my very first post on this topic above, I provided ample references. Even if you wish to ignore that, expediting this RFV is still unwarranted. If User:Doremitzwr insists on pursuing his disruption, I will simply block him (following convention, the next block increment since his previous block.) Now, I do not understand how you justify "higher standards for misspellings" precisely. At best, that applies to entries where the only definition is the identification that a term is a misspelling. There is no reason for a disruptive contributor to assume they can take on a new role of "declaring" something passed or failed, particularly out of order, particularly when he himself has shown such an enormous personal interest in pushing this particular error as valid. --Connel MacKenzie 15:51, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Regardless of anybody's personal opinion of this word, no evidence of this sense has been provided to show that it exists, let alone any evidence to show that it meets the CFI, after more than a month. By any resonable interpretation of the policy, it is correct to mark this "RFV Failed". Terms that have been so marked can still be re-entered providing that it is accompanied by citations to show that it does meet the CFI.
Connel, your statement "Everyone who speaks English knows this is an error." is blatantly not true, because not one single other English-speaking contributor here knows this is an error (except of course where "every" is defined as "Connel MacKenzie"). Thryduulf 08:34, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
My very first post on this topic supplied references indicating this term's erroneous status. By any reasonable interpretation of policy (or common practice) User:Doremitzwr is far beyond "Being Bold" in pushing his invalid term. Your personal attack noted. --Connel MacKenzie 15:51, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Connel, I refuse to let you push this through with so much evidence stacked against you. I’ll give you until tomorrow to try to piece together some kind of objective argument to support the retention of the misspelling sense. When you have been shown to fail, I will declare this RFVfailed. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 00:30, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Second attempt — I declare this RFVfailed. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 12:16, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

[For the benefit of readers of this RFV discussion in future: Once I had (again) removed the RFVfailed sense from the entry, Connel MacKenzie reädded it. However, his revision was promptly reverted by Ruakh. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:28, 8 August 2007 (UTC)]

Rolled back. You don't "give" me anything; particularly when offline for a couple days. You have been shown to be lying (above) to promote your error; it is no surprise that you'd falsely declare that no justification has been given. Your vandalism has been given no justification. --Connel MacKenzie 15:51, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Connel, you are absurd. Noöne here has agreed with you. No authority has agreed with you (don’t mention again the computer errors that are your spell-checker “references”). You have no evidence that this misspelling exists. The position you have taken on this word is diametrically opposed to your usual exclusionist point of view, and is based on a standard of evidence so flimsy that to apply it consitently would mean that we’d have more misspelling entries than we do entries for actual words. All your efforts to discredit this word have led to is a well-cited, well-referenced entry for a word which you obviously hate (how can you have so much dislike for a word of all things is beyond me), as well as leading to the creation of a convenient place to which to refer people in future to show them how much of a problem contributor you can be. And you’re still not stopping! † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:28, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Third attempt — I declare this RFVfailed. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:28, 8 August 2007 (UTC)


Some of the citations give wrong dates and omit to mention that they are translations. It is wrong to say that Honore de Balzac used the word usuress when he used some French word and it was in fact Katharine Prescott Wormeley who decided the best English equivalent at the time she did her translations would be usuress. Other translators may have decided otherwise. It is likewise wrong to give the date of a recent edition or translation for a work written a long time ago. For citations you must cite the person who chose the word and the year in which they chose it. In the case of citations you must also cite the name of the original author and if possible the original year of authorship in the original language. I'll try to go through these when I have more time. — Hippietrail 02:56, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, these weren’t intended to serve as citations when I compiled them for the discussion here — I copied them to this entry’s sub-page with very little thought to reformatting them for their new function. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 13:58, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Tea room discussion[edit]

This entry was discussed in the Tea Room; here is the discussion that ensued:


Should this term be considered gender neutral considering the existence of the term usuress? The Norwegian term, ågerkarl, specifies a man (karl). __meco 11:44, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Usuress is very rare. Epsecially in recent usage, usurer would be used for either male or female. RJFJR 15:00, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Usuress is not only very rare, it is incorrect. It is an unaccepted neologism pushed forth (ironically) for "gender equality" but now is the first (retarded) dictionary to claim it is a valid word. Not in Oxford online (ORO), not in slang dictionaries, not even in urbandictionary. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] etc. --Connel MacKenzie 15:36, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Incorrect is a bit harsh. And it's not really a neologism, the OED has cites for it going back to 1641. It is rare, but hardly ‘invalid’. And the very fact that it is absent from urbandictionary is rather a sign that it's probably kosher...Widsith 16:02, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I suggest starting the definition for usurer with “one, especially a man, who…” and the definition for usuress with “a woman who…”. If you think that that is too ambiguous, you could always add a usage note stating that usurer is accepted usage for both men and women. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 15:28, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I would disagree if usurer does not imply, to any degree, that the person is in fact male, kinda like landlord and landlady. DAVilla 16:03, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
How else do you indicate that whilst most will probably use usurer to mean someone of indeterminate sex, that some will specifically mean a male usurer? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 16:19, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
+Usage note "Some speakers distinguish between male or gender-neutral usurer and female usuress; this is very rare, however, and the vast majority of speakers use usurer in all cases." —RuakhTALK 18:13, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
That seems like a nice way to word it. A tag of "nonstandard" at usuress in combination with the usage note in both entries, seems quite reasonable to me. Optionally, {{context|gender-neutral}} could further clarify the definition of usurer. It is probably worth listing the primary definition at usuress, before the one there now, as # {{misspelling of|usurers}}. --Connel MacKenzie 23:11, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Oh come on, to claim that usuress occurs more often as a misspelling of usurers than as a legitimate word is utterly preposterous. I shall employ the brute force method; see hereinafter my seriatim treatment of the 45 hits returned by Google Book Search[11]:
  1. The following are unambiguously instances of usuress used in the singular:
    • 1851: Emma Robinson, The gold-worshippers: or, The days we live in, p15 — [12]
      “Tastes differs — I don’t think so, that’s all, mum”, replied the usuress, snappishly.
    • 1862: Avery Newman, To parents and guardians, and others [verse] — Lines, suggested by the death of an eminent Lady, p65:v4 — [13]
      Rest thee in peace, then, poor senseless cold clay;
        Earth, the stern usuress, claims our fair forms,
      Yet whilst with our dust life’s loan we repay,
        Our soul’s hymn of praise to God’s will conforms.
    • 1894: Wallace Martin Lindsay, The Latin Language: An Historical Account of Latin Sounds, Stems and Flexions, p42 — [14] & duplicated: [15]
      …the Usuress, agrees with another remark of Varro…
    • 1896: Honoré de Balzac & Katharine Prescott Wormeley, La Comédie Humaine of Honoré de Balzac, p458 — [16]
      “Yes; you shall see the usuress of rats, marcheuses and great ladies, — a woman who possesses more terrible secrets than there are gowns hanging in her window”, said Bixiou.
    • 1899: Friedrich Paulsen, A System of Ethics, p375 — [17]
      Encouraged by such reflections, he kills an old repulsive usuress, in order to obtain money, but at the same time also to test his theory…
    • 1912: Richard Henry Tawney, The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century, p109 — [18]
      …is a usuress and sells at a dearer rate for accommodation…
    • 1925: Thomas Wilson, A Discourse Upon Usury by Way of Dialogue and Orations: For the Better Variety and More Delight of All Those that Shall Read this Treatise, p21 — [19] & duplicated: [20]
      Matilda la Megre, who pledges seven ells of burrell with Moses of Dog Street, “Juetta [who] is a usuress and sells at a dearer rate for accommodation,” Richard, the parson’s chaplain, qui est usurarius maximus2 — minnows like these naturally slip out of sight before the voracious pikes, the Greshams and Stoddards, Pallavicinos and Spinolas, Fuggers, Schetzes, and Rellingers, who rule the turbid financial pond of the sixteenth century.
    • 1931: Henry Baerlein, And Then to Transylvania, p110 — [21]
      There was at Suceava a woman, the widow of a priest, called Gaina, and she was a usuress and she was demolished.
    • 1938: University of North Carolina (1793–1962) Philological Club, Studies in Philology, p191 — [22]
      That rara avis, “an usuress”, decides on her deathbed to risk hell rather than rob her children of their portion.
    • 1945: Arthur Koestler, The Yogi and the Commissar, p33 — [23]
      An excitable young student kills a usuress with an axe…
    • 1952: Henry William Spiegel, The Development of Economic Thought: Great Economists in Perspective, p24 — [24]
      It was natural that “Juetta [who] is a usuress and sells at a dearer rate for accommodation,” and John the Chaplain, qui est usurarius maximus, should be regarded as figures at once too scandalous to be tolerated by their neighbors and too convenient to be altogether suppressed.
    • 1957: Robert Nigel Carew Hunt, The Theory and Practice of Communism: An Introduction, pp93 & 96 — [25]
      {p93}Yet this he can have if he murders an old usuress who is detestable and a burden upon society. He murders her, but only to find himself caught up in something he had not foreseen…
      {p96}…we have set out on a course which may lead us farther than we had intended, just as Raskolnikov, contrary to his intentions, had not only to kill the old usuress but also her good and innocent sister.
    • 1957: Nathan A. Scott, Tragic Vision and the Christian Faith, p199 — [26]
      She is, he has persuaded himself, a bloodsucking, tightfisted old usuress who does not deserve to live, a mere “louse”.
    • 1965: Cistercienses, Analecta Cisterciensia, p212 — [27]
      One of his parishioners was a usuress whom he often reproached for her fault.
    • 1966: Erih Koš, Names, p52 — [28]
      …do not associate with my landlady, who is a heartless usuress, or with the other lodgers, with whom I scarcely exchange a greeting when we meet on the stairs and whom I do not recognize when we run into one another…
    • 1967: Pierre d’Harcourt, The Real Enemy, p96 — [29]
      …the two young painters in Dostoievsky’s Crime and Punishment … did their work singing and whistling, while upstairs Raskolnikov killed the old usuress.
    • 1968: Nathan A. Scott, Craters of the Spirit: Studies in the Modern Novel, p34 — [30]
      She is, he has persuaded himself, a blood-sucking, tight-fisted old usuress who does not deserve to live, a mere “louse”.
    • 1969: Nicholas Patrick Wiseman, The Dublin Review, p147 — [31]
      He only wanted to kill an old usuress, a wicked and perfectly useless old woman.
    • 1969: Zvi Kolitz, Survival for What, p95 — [32]
      Not that he justified Raskolnikov’s act in killing a vile, noxious insect of a usuress.
    • 1970: Robert Graves, 5 Pens in Hand, pp198 & 199 — [33]
      {p198}Mind, I know nothing, but they say . . . very unjustly no doubt . . . that the excellent woman was a receiver of stolen goods, a usuress at compound interest, a blackmailer, a Protestant!
      {p199}No Catalan of the Costa Brava would murder even a supposed usuress for her money!
    • 1982: Gifford Phillips Orwen, Jean-Francois Regnard, p72 — [34]
      The latter intimates that a certain usuress, Mme La Ressouce, will grant him a loan; he adds that Valère’s finacée, Angélique, weary of his gambling, is beginning to turn her attention to Dorante, who happens to be Valère’s uncle.
    • 1985: Robert B. Pynsent, Karel Matěj Čapek-Chod : proceedings of a symposium held at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies 18–20 September 1984, p98 — [35]
      We remember that, on Raskolnikov’s first visit, the usuress has well-pressed, slightly greying fair hair.
    • 1992: Francis Cowley Burnand et alios, Punch, p492 — [36]
      Pancho: Mind, I know nothing, but they say — very unjustly no doubt — that the excellent woman was a receiver of stolen goods, a usuress at compound interest…
    • 1994: Jelena O. Krstovic, Hispanic Literature Criticism, p1178 — [37]
      …a harangue from the mouth of a fanatical student who comes armed with a bludgeon, consumed with hatred and resentment for an old usuress: the bludgeon, the posture, the crazed demeanor, the sick passions and demoniacal glint of the speaker’s eye will be what differentiate, once and for all, a merely theoretical premise from an overpowering concrete fact…
    • 1998: Richard Henry Tawney, Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, p39 — [38]
      …is a usuress and sells at a dearer rate for accommodation…
    • 1999: Ford Madox Ford, The Fifth Queen, p246 — [39]
      ‘Hodie mihi: mihi atque cras!’ he said. For it was in his mind a goodly thing to pay a usuress with base coins.
    • 2004: Mary Douglas, Witchcraft Confessions and Accusations, pXXVII — [40]
      The witch as a dangerous deviant
      Examples: dangerously powerful or rich — Bakweri (Ardener, below), Mysore usuress (Epstein, 1959); dangerously demanding — Essex in the sixteenth century (Macfarlane, below), Azande (Evans-Pritchard, 1937).
    • 2004: Honore de Balzac, Unconscious Comedians, p19 — [41]
      “Yes; you shall see the usuress of rats, marcheuses and great ladies, — a woman who possesses more terrible secrets than there are gowns hanging in her window”, said Bixiou.
  2. The following are ambiguous:
    • 1895: [AUTHOR?], The English Illustrated Magazine, p60 — [42]
      …worthy usuress cannot be altogether a myth.
    • 1980: Thomas Molnar, Theists and Atheists: A Typology of Non-belief, p194 — [43]
      After all, compare the suffering caused by the doctor’s healing act with that of Raskolnikov’s murder of the old usuress.
    • 1990: Nikolaĭ Sergeevich Trubetŝkoĭ, Writings on Literature, p93 — [44]
      In Chapter 1 Raskolnikov goes to the usuress and thinks about…
  3. The following are invalid:
    • Blank: [45]
    • Gobbledegook (quotation: “grow as ore b usuress throws oh cash”): [46]
    • Blank: [47]
    • Scanno (the book was scanned upsidedown): [48]
    • Not English (German): [49]
    • Not English (German): [50]
    • Not English (German): [51]
    • Both blank and not English (judging from the title, German again): [52]
    • Not English (written in what looks like Devanāgarī, so I’d guess Hindi): [53]
    • Blank: [54]
    • Blank: [55]
    • Not present herein: [56]

So, of the thirty-three valid hits, thirty (89%) unambiguously use SHOW usuress being used in the singular. None of the other three hits (11%) show usuress being used in the plural — it is only that neither do they unambiguously show it being used in the singular (however, considering that two of those three (the 1980 and 1990 citations) talk about the Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment character Raskolnikov, whom several previous citations thereinbefore discuss, it not in the slightest bit realistic to argue that they could be erroneously using usuress in the plural). So it seems that Google Book Search can offer no examples of usuress being used in error as you describe. Add to that that it is extremely unlikely for someone to misspell usurers thus in writing, and that it even less unlikely that someone would key such a bizarre typo (for usurers to become usuress that penultimate ‘r’ would have to be replaced with an ‘s’, which I imagine to be a very rare error, as those two keys do not neighbour each other on a standard qwerty keyboard). Face it, your claim that usuress is a “common misspelling of usurers” is baseless, both in that there is no evidence that anyone ever makes such a mistake and in that even theoretically the likelihood of such a manglism is tiny. Moreover, I challenge you to find even one unambiguous example in a published work of usuress being used as you say it does. The sense of usuress used to mean usurers is so rare (probably non-existent) that it wouldn’t even meet WT:CFI for a normal word, let alone the far higher level of usage that would logically be expected before a form could legitimately considered a “common misspelling”. And in the face of all that, you even claim that usuress is more often used as a misspelling of usurers than it is used to mean a female usurer! At the moment, all you are doing is inexplicably and unjustifiably asserting your unreasonable POV. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 21:22, 7 June 2007 (UTC) (Yeesh, what a waste of time that was. Still, at least usuress will now be Wiktionary’s best-cited entry second-best-cited entry (cf.: eisteddfodau with thirty-six citations provided by — guess whom? ··· I’m such a nerd; I should really get a life…)

Your argumentation skills are getting more bizzare.
What published books don't spell-check the text prior to publication?
What published books are edited by a professional-level editorial staff, prior to publication?
Why then, would you expect to see the errors that have been corrected to appear in published texts?
How does your providing thirty-three citations (about half over 30% [15/43 - I shouldn't have trusted your numbers above] of which are erroneous) prove that "useress" is not already corrected in thousands upon thousands of published texts? This terms is first and foremost an error.
Once again, why are you antagonistically mangling entries while they are under discussion?
--Connel MacKenzie 22:22, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore, calling it "my" claim, is incorrect. (Try any spell-check program you have available.) Calling it "insane" is a personal attack. --Connel MacKenzie 22:52, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
OK, point taken in re the fact that published books are almost always spell-checked. However, I’d still like to see some evidence for your claim that “usuress” occurs more commonly as a typo than as an intentionally written word (“This terms is first and foremost an error”). And yes, it is your claim unless you can cite a source which states that usuress is a common typo. Spell-checking programs are hardly perfect (e.g.: the Microsoft Word spellchecker autocorrects “fora” to “for a”; consider that fora is far more common that usuress), so their lacking rare terms is hardly surprising and to cite that fact is a weak argument. Google returns 245 hits for the search term usuress — of those, 123 would have to treat usuress as a plural or numerically ambiguously in order to justify placing the common misspelling definition first (unless you’re unwilling to accept Google search results as representative samples); if you can find even a tenth that number treating usuress thus, then the misspelling definition is (perhaps) justified (however, I doubt that there’d even be that many).
FTR, I was calling your claim insane, not you — do understand that despite past difficulties, I do respect you and your work on Wiktionary (my only real complaint about you is that your arguments are often too subjective / lack objective consistency). Needless to say, no personal offence was intended, and I regret any taken. However, let me just point out that you’re being a tad hypocritical (“why are you antagonistically mangling entries while they are under discussion?”) — taking the subjectively-used term “mangling” to mean “editing”, you did the same yourself first! Not to shout ipse dixit, but the discussion certainly was not over when you added the misspelling definition (hence my, admittedly OTT, reaction). † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 02:10, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Oh, BTW, I did not lie about the numbers (and I take the implicit accusation that I did as an insult); read what I write more carefully next time: “So, of the thirty-three valid hits, thirty (89%) unambiguously use usuress being used in the singular” (please excuse the bad grammar which I only just noticed; struck) — note that twelve of the hits returned by Google Book Search were invalid (they are enumerated after the singular use and ambiguous use lists hereinbefore); at the beginning I said that Google Book Search returned forty-five hits for the search query usuress (“the 45 hits returned by Google Book Search[57]”). 45 - 12 = 33. I did not lie; QED. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 02:20, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm unclear on how many of the hits are misspellings rather than scanos, both of which would be considered "invalid" in a sense. The ratio between misspellings and those quotations that support the singular or feminine is the pertinent point, but it might be misleading to exclude "ambiguous" citations from a denominator.
And thank you for the extensive list of quotations. DAVilla 05:26, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
No problem; although, as Connel rightly pointed out, doing so proves very little in this debate! Invalid sources are those which are: 1. Blank (that is, the link is still there, but there’s no scanned book on the other end); 2. Gobbledegook (there’s only one of these ([58]) — wherein the word appears in the middle of other seemingly random words which offer no context (“grow as ore b usuress throws oh cash”); however, the fact that “that” immediately follows usuress suggests that it’s being used in the singular ;-) ); 3. In a foreign language (wherein usuress is an unrelated foreign word, a scanno thereof, or the word quoted without any or without sufficient English-language context); 4. Scannos (only one of these ([59]) — wherein, due to the book (“The Maritime History of Maine: Three Centuries of Shipbuilding & Seafaring”) being scanned upsidedown, the OCR software had a bit of an episode, interpreting an inverted seamen (uəɯɐəs) as usuress); or, 5. Not present therein (that is, although the source appears in Google Book Search’s results list, the word (apparently) doesn’t actually exist in the source; only one of these: [60]). Nota bene that those sources (three, or, in reality, one) which use usuress ambiguously (that is, their use thereof is unclear from context whether they use it in the singular or the plural) are still included. The other thirty sources are all obviously using usuress in the singular (due to other words in the sentence being inflected for the singular). I think that my treatment of the results is perfectly fair, wouldn’t you say? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 11:39, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

I think we've established beyond reasonable doubt that it's a word, albeit an uncommon one. Widsith 12:54, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

And the most cursory check of various spell-checkers establish that it is very widely proscribed against. (Which is why I maintain it is not my claim, rather, that of each spellchecker out there.)
It would be nice if we had a more discrete manner for identifying typos, scanning errors, misconstructions and whatnot. The claim that I edited the entry is demonstrably false: check the edit history of usuress before making such accusations. Obviously, even people who I've butted heads with, agree that "usuress" is an error, first and foremost. This is not idle conjecture, rather it is widespread general knowledge that you are contesting by suggesting it is not erroneous. Apparently, others (whom I thought held a grudge against me regarding the proto-forms votes against P-I-E) agreed that the error is so obvious, and of such basic general knowledge, as to need immediate correction.
Do you really want numerous citations like this, that show "usurer" being used for women? Or these? Your search is impossibly easy. Searching for the negative of your statement (despite being very widespread) is extraordinarily difficult...the search engines we have today search by word within a document, not by words within a sentence. While you have only to guess a particular spelling of an individual word, my counter-searches have to guess the particular structure of any given complete sentence (and any misspelling therein.)
I think (and this is my opinion) that Wiktionary is much better off acting as a tertiary source with regard to misspellings. If numerous other authorities prescribe misspellings, we are doing our readers a disservice when we omit that information, out of hand. We should, instead, list each source that does list a spelling as an error, in some way. In my opinion, if more than one or two spellcheckers identify a misspelling, that information is much more valuable to our readers, than a plausible (but very rare) definition.
--Connel MacKenzie 18:05, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Firstly, I apologise for my misassumption that you edited usuress — I entirely take back my calling you a hypocrite.
I now, finally see where you’re coming from (and as such, your position seems a lot saner). Nonetheless, you are still wrong. Let me guess — you typed usuress into a (number of) word processor(s), it/they identified it as a misspelling, and suggested that you meant to write usurers instead; am I correct? If so, then I see why you are asserting that usuress is chiefly used in error. However, that is not the case. Computers are not perfectly adapted for analysing human behaviour and in particular human error. Now, I have no idea how spellcheckers work, so the following theory is purely logical guesswork…
I imagine that when a spellchecker receives a word that is not listed in its dictionary, it does the following to work out whether it be a misspelling of another, graphically similar word:
  • It switches neighbouring letters throughout the word (in case a word was mistyped as per “teh” → “the”);
  • It duplicates single letters and eliminates double letters thoughout the word (thus suggesting “occurrence” for “ocurrence” or “occurence”, and suggesting “necessary” in lieu of “necesary”);
  • It substitutes letters for others throughout the word (so “jist” is corrected to “gist”, but “usurers” is incorrectly suggested in place of “usuress”);
  • It adds or removes spaces throughout the word (turning “infact” into “in fact”, but “fora” into “for a”);
  • And so on, probably including word-specific corrections, and giving greater presedence to one perceived error over another.
If any of these approaches yields a “valid” (as per its dictionary, which will omit a huge number of rare, obsolete, dialectal, technical, and archaic words) word, it will suggest it; in the case of usuress these approaches yield usurers, so it is listed in the “Did you mean…?” list.
I shan’t try to deduce the likelihood of this error arising in handwritten text, as that would probably require reference to a fair bit of obscure academic research wherewith I have no acquaintence. Typed text, on the other hand, is a different matter. Mistyping errors (that is, incorrectly keyed words, as opposed to errata which are due to believing that a word is actually spelt in some way other than the correct way) are picked up by the spellchecker’s approaches I suggested above. During fast typing, the most common errors are typing neighbouring letters the wrong way around (as with “teh”), and mistakenly substituting a letter with one of its neighbours (as with “poltergeost” — note that the neighbours (on a qwerty keyboard) of the correct ‘i’ are ‘8’, ‘9’, ‘o’, ‘k’, ‘j’, and ‘u’). Again, on a qwerty keyboard, note that the neighbours of ‘r’ are ‘4’, ‘5’, ‘t’, ‘f’, ‘d’, and ‘e’ — not ‘s’. It is extremely rare to mistype keys thus which do not directly neighbour each other. For this reason, as a miskeyed word, the chance of usuress being mistyped instead of the intended usurers is very low indeed. Coupled with the rarity of usurers and the obscurity of usuress, it is very doubtful that the error that you describe is ever made.
See these search results for “usuress”, restricted to English language results only. From a brief look, I can see none of the forty-seven results using usuress in the plural (however, the majority are gobbledegook or contextless alphabetised word lists). There is no evidence that this erratum exists. If it is so common, you should be able to provide at least one example thereof. I hardly think that it’s fair for you to assert usuress as a common misspelling of usurers if you can provide no example of its occurence whatsoever. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 16:59, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Let me say, first, that I do think your assertion that it is not a typo, spelling error, misconstruction or some other error, is insane.
Much as you did, I made much more reasonable, concrete "appeals to authority" - not bizarre theoretical references such as the one you provided as support for "circumfix" but instead, simple, direct references to common very-widespread tools that everyone (including you) has immediate access to. You keep asserting that all the spell-checkers in the world are wrong, without the slightest shred of evidence. Instead you propose bizarre theories about qwerty keyboard layouts.
About typos: there are numerous classes of typing errors. Adjacent keys ("misses") is one common typing error. Incorrect sequence is another very common one. Duplicate characters for a single keypress is another. No character registered (for a single keypress/half-keypress) is also common. Modifier keys, mappings, partial mappings and numerous other items are also common. Then there are strange classes of typing errors from particular mappings gone awry, broken keys and general hardware malfunctions. Now, you may have theories that a cross-wise keypress of "r" will always work as expected, but I am sure that is wrong. Likewise, keys like "s" often malfunction just from overuse. Not all such errors are likely to pass casual inspection from the human eye, but a mistake such as "usuress" for "usurers" seem very much like the sort of error I'd like pointed out! All spell-checkers I have at my disposal are doing a satisfactory job, there.
About common misconstructions: are you suggesting that the errant application of a gender suffix isn't an error? In some radical pro-feminist or radical anti-feminist writing is the only context one would expect to see such deliberate misconstructions. In other words, raving lunatics (of one extreme or the other) are the only ones likely to deliberately mis-construct "usuress." How to "provide citations" for that, is even more ephemeral.
About literary license: only a moron would use "usuress" when they meant "usurer." Adding gender pointedly to a gender-neutral term is something that perhaps can be done specifically to offend. But it would only be accepted with a 40 pound grain of salt. Now, how we should describe that phenomenon escapes me. I don't think we can do so, and remain neutral. Obviously, the broad majority of other references have opted to simply omit it (as erroneous) rather than exaggerate the term's status. Such a construction can be used, but only if the author is comfortable with being scoffed at...and even then, employing a extra-helping of "literary license." Certainly, some amount of forgiveness for the error can be given to non-native English speaking authors. Likewise, authors submerged in the study of other languages; the error is certainly understandable in that light, but not entirely forgivable.
About providing citations: finding misspellings online is notoriously difficult; bytes on the Internet are increasingly transient. Sources disappear; poorly written nonsense gets purged faster. How many Internet sites that you visited ten years ago are still around? Maybe 5%? Each of those, ones supported by large corporations (and looking nothing like they did ten years ago.) Yes, people spell-check stuff (now) before putting it online. How on Earth can you reach the insane conclusion that their absence today, proves they are not made?
To everyone else trudging through this verbose nonsense; my apologies for feeding the troll. I cannot for a moment, believe that entering this term, nor the bizarre defense of it that followed, was done in good faith. --Connel MacKenzie 02:13, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Connel, I'm sorry, but I really don't understand your claims here. Firstly, are you saying that misspellings have become rare on the Web? If so, I appreciate your optimism, but if you Google the -ance misspelling of any word in -ence (e.g., if you Google independance), you'll see how untrue that is. Secondly, are you saying that omission from a spell-checker is evidence of non-word status? Because I don't know of any spell-checker that strives to include all words in the language, as we do. Thirdly, are you saying that the use of -ess is wrong for words where the relatively masculine form can be used gender-neutrally? If so, would you contend that actress is wrong, or that actor is male-only? Neither seems to be a tenable position. Finally, you said above — I don't know if you maintain this claim — that we should have "Common misspelling of usurers" as our first sense. Surely you must realize that before we can even consider beginning to contemplate thinking about potentially doing that, you need to show us at least one case where usuress seems like it might possibly be a misspelling of usurers? After all, if we, actively looking for cases of this error, can't find any, then what's the risk that a user would come across this error and be unable to figure out what happened?
RuakhTALK 04:54, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

The inclusion of usuress is not in contest, and I am satisfied that most uses are intentional. It should probably be marked rare, but not non-standard or misspelling or the like. There is currently a usage note at usurer that reads, "Some speakers distinguish between the masculine or epicene usurer and the feminine usuress; this is very rare, however, and the vast majority of speakers use usurer in all cases." Except that the wording seems to omit writers, I believe this is the best resolution to the question raised. The point of exclusion from spell-checkers, which are a lower authority than even dictionaries, is irrelevant, and the topic should be closed. DAVilla 05:11, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

The suggestion that "actor" applies to females is incorrect. The suggestion that the actor/actress dichotomy is in any way comparable to usurer/usuress is incorrect. Not many examples have survived, but certainly these two blog results (the only two blog results) both show the error not the supposed literary feminine use.
Also: I was suggesting that I had not even bothered searching for something I did not expect to find. This circus-like defense of an error is a waste of everyone's time - especially our misinformed readers! We should not be spouting out misinformation such as the current "definition" at usuress. It is an error, and should be clearly identified as such. --Connel MacKenzie 09:43, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
The suggestion that "usuress" is a word is in contest. Note that not only spell-checkers, but almost all other dictionaries list the suggestion "usurers" is difinitive. Even sources I normally detest agree: This is first and foremost an error (of nearly any variety - take your pick!)
--Connel MacKenzie 09:38, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
For goodness’ sake Connel, give it up! The only thing here that’s truly insane is the amount of time and effort that we’ve both been wasting (at the time of my writing this latest addition to this absurd saga, this page is already 38 kilobytes long!) on this single bloody word. Listen to yourself: you’re reduced to arguing that this erratum occurs because of faulty keyboards! For such a mistype to occur requires the coïncidence of two typos or hardware faults in one rare word; (that is, that the second ‘r’ in usurers be omitted and that the second ‘s’ be duplicated). And you’re telling me that my theories are bizarre!
You are contradicting yourself. On the one hand, you’re claiming that usuress is a common misspelling of usurers — moreover, more common than its correct definition; whilst, on the other hand, you are justifying the lack of web-based evidence therefor on the fact that people check what they write, thus eliminating the error before it is published. I ask you — what is the point in warning our readers against a rare misspelling which theoretically is extremely unlikely to be made and in practice does not seem to exist? As Ruakh said: “if we, actively looking for cases of this error, can’t find any, then what’s the risk that a user would come across this error and be unable to figure out what happened”? Remember that that is the purpose of misspelling entries. You wrote here that you “feel they [(instances of misspellings)] need to meet a much higher standard than we currently require” — the common misspelling definition for usuress which you say is so necessary wouldn’t even meet WT:CFI, let alone the “much higher standard” which you advocate.
Your reference to Windows Live Search is irrelevant, as it only gives roughly the same web results as those given by Google (which I have already looked over and found no instance of usuress used in the plural), and the suggested spelling correction is the same spellchecker-based argument that you’ve made already. A similar example to the usurers / usuress dichotomy is the case of genesis / geneses (the latter being the plural of the former) — Google flags up geneses as a misspelling of genesis, which just goes to show how reliable spell-checkers are. Finally, your two blog results don’t misuse usuress in the way you describe — in their sentences, usuress functions as an adjective (they probably meant usurious or usurial), not a plural noun — so these two quotations, even though they show misuses, do not help your case (this misuse doesn’t satisfy CFI either).
I’m not going to tackle your off-topic objections to feminine forms in general, as that is not the issue here (although it’s obvious that your motive for instituting this misspelling definition stems from an opposition to feminine forms in general). Your case has been disproven far beyond reasonable doubt by now; please, do the right thing, and concede defeat on this issue rather than carrying on in this dogged, futile fashion. Lastly, what definition of “troll” are you using? — “One who disagrees with Connel when he’s pushing his baseless, disproven POV”? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 14:03, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Message to user DAVilla: — I have added “and writers” to the usage note, I believe that the entry is now in a satisfactory state. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 14:03, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
The fact that you obfuscated your signature, to make it look like it was signed by DAVilla is disturbing...I've clarified your line above to be less misleading.
The facts you ignore are the actual references I've indicated from the start. Every petty type of request you've made I've refuted with numerous facts, sources and cites. Yet you stubbornly cling to your hope that because you found some misusage, your POV is the only one correct. Sorry, but that is irrational.
Your outrageous twisting of words is impressive. It is not my "objections to feminine forms", it is your non-English language introduction of gender to gender neutral terms, which is not NPOV.
My case has not been "disproven" at all, let alone beyond a reasonable doubt. Yours, on the other hand, has. Even for those two final examples, you simply lie; they clearly are both intended as "usurers" in both cases. The only explanation I can see as to why you are being so stubborn, is because you know you are wrong. The only remotely reasonable argument made in your favor so far, was Widsith's humorous suggestion regarding the term's absence even from I suggest you cease and desist. --Connel MacKenzie 14:45, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't know how quickly we can knock this on the head. It is very clearly a word that a significant number of writers have made use of. Its absence from computer spell-checkers is no reason to call it "misusage". Of RD's 3 "ambiguous" citations, 2 are not at all ambiguous as they refer to Raskolnikov's encounter with Alyona Ivanovna in chapter 1 of Crime & Punishment. The word passes CFI in every way. Widsith 15:06, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Connel, please tell me that you’re joking. What possible reason could I have for “obfuscating” my signature? Why would I want to pretend that what I wrote came from DAVilla‽ Come on, if you’re going to accuse me of lying / falsifying / intentionally misleading, at least invent a credible motive for me to do so!
The only real and pertinent point (apart from the two blog citations, which I’ll get to later) that you’ve made thus far is to talk about spell-checkers proscribing against usuress, with usurers suggested as a substitute therefor. In opposition to this argument, I offered what I believe to be a convincing theory as to why spell-checkers make this suggestion, later giving an example of a spell-checker making the same error (“geneses”). On top of that, the value of spell-checkers as authorities has been flatly denied by DAVilla (“The point of exclusion from spell-checkers, which are a lower authority than even dictionaries, is irrelevant, and the topic should be closed”). If you call my asking you for a single example of what you claim is so common “petty”, then you are calling into question the very basis (attestation) of WT:CFI — are you?
I hardly think that I’m “introducing gender to gender neutral terms” — I didn’t create the entry for usuress (Kevin Ryde did at 00:14, on the 14th day of August, 2006[61]), and neither was I alive in 1641 (the date of the OED’s first citation therefor, according to Widsith).
Let’s look at your two blog citations:
  1. “The Oliver Peoples website fails to emphasize the 15-day return policy, which is an extremely short turnaround and a usuress return policy.”
  2. “But sales tax in Seattle is already a usuress 8·8% (yes, I know actual usury is higher, it’s 12% in Washington, I’m using a rhetorical trick called “hyperbole”).”
In both these cases, to substitute usuress with usurers would lead to an ungrammatical sentence. Granted, they are already ungrammatical — I’m not contesting that they’re using usuress in error. I just think that it is a lot more believable that these two authors intended to use an adjective (probably usurious or usurial), which would have made their sentences grammatical, rather than a plural, which would have meant that their sentences would still be ungrammatical — and obviously so, considering that both the plurals would have been immediately preceded by a — the English preconsonantal singular indefinite article. You would at least have some kind of case if you said that those authors meant to write “usurer’s” or something…
It is you who is irrational. A core element of rationality is logic. Your arguments are based on logical fallacies — argumenta ad verecundiam and the idea that abscence of evidence is evidence of abscence (or at least evidence of incorrectitude). Therefore, you are being irrational. My arguments, on the other hand, are logical and based upon both deductive evidence (e.g.: arguing the theory behind why spell-checkers are mis-flagging usuress as a misspelling of usurers) and inductive evidence (e.g.: analyses of every English search result given by both Google and Google Book Search). Therefore, I am being rational.
I tell you what: since you seem to be such a fan of logical fallacies, how about an argumentum ad numerum? — Shall I call a community vote to see how many people our respective theories can convince? Come on Connel, I know that you are far too intelligent to genuinely believe what you are arguing. Just give it up. You’ve lost. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 17:02, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
That is wildly false. The references I first cited were all dictionaries. Surely you've heard of those things? You twisted words to go off on the tangent of spell-checkers which I indulged in, only because of your wild inaccuracies. The spelling "usuress" is first and foremost an error. You know this to be a fact. The indication that it could be used (in the distant past, with literary licence) is a secondary note, at best. Your personal removal of the only relevant information of interest to readers (the indication that it is first and formost an error) is what is clearly against the community opinion. --Connel MacKenzie 17:12, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I dealt with those invalid references hereinbefore (“…the idea that abscence of evidence is evidence of abscence (or at least evidence of incorrectitude)” & “The only real and pertinent point … that you’ve made thus far is to talk about spell-checkers…”). I’m sure that in every dictionary there will be a word omitted which you think ought to be in there as much as in every dictionary there will be a word included which you think ought not to be in there; such is the fallacy of argumenta ad verecundiam.
This discussion is a totally pointless waste of both of our time. Since I don’t believe that you could be so blind as to ignore such an overwhelming quantity and quality of evidence when your POV has no concrete evidence to defend it, then I can only conclude that you’ve attached too much ego to being right about this one word, and that it is ultimately your misplaced pride that is preventing you from rightly conceding defeat. Therefore, since you’re not man enough to put your hand up and admit that you’re wrong, I’ll take your forbearing changing usuress and the pertaining entries as your implicit, face-saving way of conceding defeat. To be blunt Connel, this whole ludicrous charade has been pathetic and disappointing; you do yourself no justice by stubbornly becoming embroiled in this Pythonesque display of intransigent pig-headedness. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 12:36, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Lacking the ability to refute even a single point, you instead digress to personal attacks? How...trendy. Of ALL those dictionary links, which one did not suggest the combination of characters was an error? Did you every go back and look at those links? Obviously not. My politeness of not changing an entry under discussion is simply a matter of following very long-standing tradition on, which you, in your "pig-headedness," repeatedly ignore. It doesn't make you any less incorrect, though. --Connel MacKenzie 18:16, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
The Cambridge Dictionary page failed to load, but if it displayed the same sort of message that the others do, then it, along with your other nine references, are irrelevant. Neither “”, “Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828)”, “WordNet Search”, “FOLDOC”, “Urban Dictionary”, nor “” suggest anything as a correction — they just say that they don’t list it (irrelevant, as abscence of evidence is not evidence of abscence). As for the other three (“”, “Merriam–Webster’s Online Dictionary”, and “MSN Encarta”), you know as well as I do that their respective lists of corrections are generated by in-built spell-checkers — what human would suggest “Ozarks” as a correction of “usuress”‽ There; refuted seriatim — happy now? You are acting in such noxious bad faith — it is you who truly deserves the epithet of “troll”. All you’re doing any more is undermining your own credibility. That’s really sad. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 19:30, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
On one hand, you say that the three most trusted sources on the English language are all invalid, on the other, you repeat your insults? I don't know what to say to your irrationality. --Connel MacKenzie 05:29, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

As a (hopefully) final word, The Chambers Dictionary (1998) gives: "usury n the taking of [...] interest on a loan ... ­—n usurer a moneylender (now usu at excessive rates of interest): — fem usuress". Thryduulf 22:13, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for that. I’ve added a reference thereto to the entry. Needless to say, this doesn’t actually disprove the existence of the erratum in question, but it is yet another strong piece of evidence. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 22:25, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, perhaps your copy of the Chambers dictionary has it - but the online version disavows it. I'll see if my local library can order that 1998 version. Interestingly, it does point out an item I missed earlier; all of the "citations" provided above seem to be of British origin (including the item from the NC University - second keyword "London.") That does explain to me, why UK/Commonwealth speakers (who have been so militant here) may be baffled. But you can't say "usuress" in America without eliciting snickers (or more often, bursts of laughter) except, perhaps in a particularly dicey hypothetic context. I am not sure if a tag of "UK" would suffice - it still would be misleading to the broad majority of readers here. But that would be a step in the right direction. --Connel MacKenzie 05:22, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, it doesn't disavow it, it just doesn't include it. It seems that the online site is Chambers 21st Century Dictionary ("The focus is on the English that people use today") which at 1664 pages is almost 3000 pages shorter than The Chambers Dictionary ("The largest, bestselling and most comprehensive single-volume English dictionary"). The sample page (PDF) on the website also shows prominent boxed usage notes which the older dictionary does not have. It is clear from this that there will be many definitions in The Chambers Dictionary that are not in Chambers 21st Century Dictionary for reasons of space. It is agreed by everyone (including I think you) that usuress is a less common word than usurer (itself not an every-day word for most people) and so its lack of inclusion in smaller works is not much of a surprise. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Compare The Chambers Dictionary and sample page (PDF).
"I am not sure if a tag of "UK" would suffice - it still would be misleading to the broad majority of readers here." Which is precisely why there is a usage notes section of usurer and should be one on usuress explaining that some speakers and writers distinguish between a male usurer and a female usuress, but the marjority do not, using usurer for both genders.
"But you can't say "usuress" in America without eliciting snickers (or more often, bursts of laughter) except, perhaps in a particularly dicey hypothetic context" now this is perhaps the most bizarre comment in this thread. I would doubt the word usurer is in the vocabulary of a majority of people, and I would expect those who do would not laugh or snicker at a misusage. More likely, in my opinion, would be that they are confusing usurer with the near-homophone and wider-known word usher, the feminine of which is usherette not usheress - which I can believe might produce snickers. Thryduulf 09:22, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
I can agree that it is an uncommon word, but I'm surprised to hear it called "rare." The general case is that if one knows the word "usurer" at all, they know that "usuress" is incorrect (but that is obviously impossible to prove statistically.) --Connel MacKenzie 19:11, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I’ve copied the usage notes for usurer to the entry for usuress. A lot of Connel’s comments herein are bizarre — it seems like he’ll grasp at any bunch of straws, no matter how small, in his efforts to “taint” this word with the status of being somehow “non-standard”. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 10:29, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
The accepted word for the concept already exists (usurer) is what makes the nonstandard "usuress" nonstandard. But that doesn't make it clear why you still resort only to personal attacks in absence of any resonable response to the references that refute your assertions (and your willy-nilly removal of crucial information from the usuress entry.) --Connel MacKenzie 19:11, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
What references? The dictionaries or the spell-checkers (the validity of both of which, I believe, I’ve refuted already)? Would you say that inflected feminine in forms are incorrect in English? I resort to personal attacks due to frustration with and disappointment caused by what I see as someone refusing to concede defeat in an argument in which he has been resoundly defeated. I’ve lost all appetite for this thread. Feel free to reädd the misspelling definition, though I guarantee that it won’t survive WT:RFV. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 17:53, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
You certainly never refuted dictionaries. Nor spell-checkers. You have been soundly defeated in each of the arguments you've made, generating more arguments that you cannot refute at each turn. --Connel MacKenzie 00:40, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
In answer to the original question posed by User:Meco, yes, usurer is gender-neutral. It may specifically refer to a man, but that in no way contradicts the gender-neutral usage (if a word is gender neutral, it can refer to a person of any gender, and that means it will refer to a man sometimes). In answer to all of the subsequent questions: usuress is a word, it has been comprehensively verified, it is not nonstandard in any way, it is apparently not dated, and it is relatively rare. — Beobach972 19:13, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Smiley noted; however, the term 'usuress' is nonstandard, despite what Doremítzwr may wish to assert. --Connel MacKenzie 00:40, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

The OED is avaialbe free for 48 hours now, and the same in a week's time. I've taken the opportunity to look at the entry for "usruess" [62]-

usuress rare

A female usurer.

1641 R. BRATHWAIT Eng. Gentlew. 300 A religious divine comming to a certaine usuresse,..told her [etc.]. 1648 HEXHAM II, Een Woeckeresse, an Usuresse, or a woman Usurer. 1898 Daily Tel. 28 May 7/3 The defendants..evinced no little hostility to the usuress.

Thryduulf 22:01, 29 June 2007 (UTC)