Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Five Finger Discount

Those who invade and steal from private spaces and persons -- pickpockets, muggers, and burglars -- are popularly regarded with opprobrium.* Shoplifters, who operate furtively in a more public venue, attract a mixture of scandalized humor and embarassed pity -- more like the reaction to a sex scandal than a serious crime.

--from the article The Secret Shopper: The history of shoplifting, by Jenny Diski in the Sept. 26, 2011 issue of The New Yorker.

*Oppobrium: disgrace from shameful conduct.

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