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Author Topic: People who call real estate "fake estate"  (Read 445 times)

bandit957

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People who call real estate "fake estate"
« on: August 22, 2019, 11:23:09 AM »

In the late '80s, on one of the local computer bulletin board systems (remember those?), there was a guy who kept calling real estate "fake estate."

Why is real estate called real estate anyway? Is there estate out there that's fake?
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Re: People who call real estate "fake estate"
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2019, 11:28:01 AM »

It seems to be a different definition of "real": https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/real definition 9.

Also, if "fake estate" was to exist, shouldn't it be things of lesser value, i.e. not real estate?
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kphoger

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Re: People who call real estate "fake estate"
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2019, 02:40:05 PM »

It seems to be a different definition of "real": https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/real#Adjective definition 9.

Also, if "fake estate" was to exist, shouldn't it be things of lesser value, i.e. not real estate?

Fixed the link so people know where to look.
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kphoger

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Re: People who call real estate "fake estate"
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2019, 02:41:10 PM »

Another way to answer the question is this:  Intellectual property and real estate are different.  Real estate is a physical thing.
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Beltway

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Re: People who call real estate "fake estate"
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2019, 06:08:10 PM »

Defined by Merriam-Webster as property consisting of buildings and land, real estate can be broken into two different parts, real and estate.  Realis is a Latin term that means existing and true.  According to Etymonline.com, real is used in a legal context in Middle English to reference immovable property (i.e., a house, building or structure), as opposed to personal property, such as clothing or furniture.

The term estate can be traced to Latin and even French.  Derived from the Latin term status, which means state or condition, it's combined with stare, which means to stand, and its French derivative is estat.  The English definition for the term today, according to Dictionary.com, is property/possessions or an individual's interest, ownership or property.

Per Merriam-Webster, the combined term real estate was first coined in London in 1666.


https://finance.yahoo.com/news/where-did-term-real-estate-103000184.html
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J N Winkler

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Re: People who call real estate "fake estate"
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2019, 06:16:25 PM »

Besides real estate, the term real property is in use.  Besides land and improvements on it (such as buildings, driveways, etc.), property can be tangible or intangible, and in either case can have nontrivial value.

In other European languages, cognates of immovable are often used to refer to real estate.  E.g., in Italian, affari immobiliari = real estate business.
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Big John

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Re: People who call real estate "fake estate"
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2019, 06:28:34 PM »

Jeopardy uses "Unreal Estate" for fictional places.
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english si

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Re: People who call real estate "fake estate"
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2019, 03:18:45 AM »

Yesterday, I was doing a Jetpunk quiz on fictional business owners and the type of business they owned. Thankfully they had some alternate answers for "George Bluth Snr." as I tried "development" (it's in the show's name, after all), "property" and "housebuilding" (the words we more commonly use in EnUK), before trying "housing" and getting it right enough that "real estate" turned up.

It's clear we do think of it in such terms, but we don't tend to bother with the real bit. EnUK calls realtors (emphasis on the real bit) "estate agents".
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Scott5114

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Re: People who call real estate "fake estate"
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2019, 03:47:57 AM »

It's clear we do think of it in such terms, but we don't tend to bother with the real bit. EnUK calls realtors (emphasis on the real bit) "estate agents".

"Realtor" is actually a genericised trademark for "real estate agent"—one is not supposed to be called a Realtor™ unless they are a member of the National Association of Realtors, which is a trade organisation such agents can join. Of course, this is the country where people will ask with a straight face "What kind of Coke do you want: Pepsi or Mountain Dew?" so good luck getting the masses to follow the suits' lead on that one.
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english si

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Re: People who call real estate "fake estate"
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2019, 05:52:01 AM »

My point was more that the UK ignores the 'real' bit, whereas the US emphasises it, rather than estate agent and realtor being exact equivalent terms.

PS: We do the same with trademarks. It's always a little jarring when the BBC uses the generic term for something where one brand is so ubiquitous it's the common name: Coke for cola (though only cola, and never other sodas), Hoover for vacuum cleaners, Google for search engines, etc, etc.
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J N Winkler

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Re: People who call real estate "fake estate"
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2019, 12:10:33 PM »

"Realtor" is actually a genericised trademark for "real estate agent"—one is not supposed to be called a Realtor™ unless they are a member of the National Association of Realtors, which is a trade organisation such agents can join. Of course, this is the country where people will ask with a straight face "What kind of Coke do you want: Pepsi or Mountain Dew?" so good luck getting the masses to follow the suits' lead on that one.

The US publishing industry is also quite anal about ensuring that realtor is capitalized in novels etc., even if it is not used with the trademark sign.

British English speakers use genericized trademarks too--it is just that the words receiving this treatment are often different.  Hoovering for operating a rotating-brush carpet vacuum cleaner (what Americans typically call vacuuming) is a classic example.  (English Si cites the noun form, but it is the verb/gerund form I have personally seen the most often.  I'm not sure it is idiomatic for hard flooring.)

There are some cases where usages fall into sync across the Atlantic and others where they very stubbornly do not.  I suspect one example of the latter is the terminology used to refer to taxes on real estate that are designed to support local government.  In the US the usual term is property tax and it is nearly always in reference to what is formally called a millage system.  A piece of property has an appraised value; it also has an assessed value that is a percentage of the appraised value that is based on the designated use of the property (different percentages apply to residential, commercial, heavy industrial, etc.); and the levy a taxing district imposes is expressed in mills, one mill being equal to one dollar per thousand of assessed value.

In the UK the policy context is different.  For much of the twentieth century property taxes were called rates and, as in the US currently, was a type of ad valorem taxation with differentials based on land use.  Then the 1980's swung around and Margaret Thatcher shipwrecked her political career by imposing the community charge, which was informally called the poll tax because it applied the liability directly to each resident rather than to the property.  This was replaced with council tax, which is currently calculated on a banded system with each property falling in a given band according to its appraised value in a given year and local authorities setting their tax rates as percentages of each band threshold.  The UK also sees more widespread use of capping (executed, since the 1980's, by reducing the amount of central government grant a council receives by the amount of revenue it collects above the cap); tax relief on second homes (council tax liability is zero, which causes enormous difficulties in seaside villages where large percentages of the housing is second homes); and tax relief for university students (effectively makes it impossible for a recent graduate to live with students because he or she brings in the council tax liability for the entire property on his or her back, and thus contributes to the formation of student ghettos).
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 12:16:23 PM by J N Winkler »
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Re: People who call real estate "fake estate"
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2019, 12:18:50 PM »

"Realtor" is actually a genericised trademark for "real estate agent"—one is not supposed to be called a Realtor™ unless they are a member of the National Association of Realtors, which is a trade organisation such agents can join. Of course, this is the country where people will ask with a straight face "What kind of Coke do you want: Pepsi or Mountain Dew?" so good luck getting the masses to follow the suits' lead on that one.
The US publishing industry is also quite anal about ensuring that realtor is capitalized in novels etc., even if it is not used with the trademark sign.
You see common nouns sometimes being capitalized in blogs and internet articles, but that is supposedly not correct English usage.

Profession terms like engineer, accountant, scientist, doctor, nurse, lawyer, mechanic, firefighter, etc. are not capitalized.

English =/= German where common nouns -are- capitalized.
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J N Winkler

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Re: People who call real estate "fake estate"
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2019, 12:42:36 PM »

You see common nouns sometimes being capitalized in blogs and internet articles, but that is supposedly not correct English usage.

Profession terms like engineer, accountant, scientist, doctor, nurse, lawyer, mechanic, firefighter, etc. are not capitalized.

Yes.  When a copyeditor insists on realtor being capitalized, that is a cue it is not regarded as a common noun.

Forced genericization is a related phenomenon.  When the serial killer Dennis Rader was finally caught in 2005, the event was reported worldwide and British newspapers twisted themselves into pretzels trying to describe his day job.  The Guardian, for example, eventually settled on dogcatcher.  In actuality he worked for the City of Park City as a code compliance officer, often shortened to compliance officer in American newspapers, and besides animal control (not just dogs), his job description included checking that homeowners were keeping their yards mowed to below the maximum height allowed by city ordinance.
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Beltway

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Re: People who call real estate "fake estate"
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2019, 03:21:30 PM »

You see common nouns sometimes being capitalized in blogs and internet articles, but that is supposedly not correct English usage.
Profession terms like engineer, accountant, scientist, doctor, nurse, lawyer, mechanic, firefighter, etc. are not capitalized.
Yes.  When a copyeditor insists on realtor being capitalized, that is a cue it is not regarded as a common noun.
Forced genericization is a related phenomenon.  When the serial killer Dennis Rader was finally caught in 2005, the event was reported worldwide and British newspapers twisted themselves into pretzels trying to describe his day job.  The Guardian, for example, eventually settled on dogcatcher.  In actuality he worked for the City of Park City as a code compliance officer, often shortened to compliance officer in American newspapers, and besides animal control (not just dogs), his job description included checking that homeowners were keeping their yards mowed to below the maximum height allowed by city ordinance.
The general term for the profession would be a common noun, but a specific HR job classification title would be capitalized like a proper noun.

Animal control officer would be a general term, but specific job classification titles would be something like --

Animal Control Officer I
Animal Control Officer II
Animal Control Officer III
Animal Control Officer Supervisor
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Re: People who call real estate "fake estate"
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2019, 03:28:05 PM »

English Si cites the noun form, but it is the verb/gerund form I have personally seen the most often.
It is, but the examples given in the OP were nouns, so I used that form.
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Margaret Thatcher shipwrecked her political career by imposing the community charge, which was informally called the poll tax because it applied the liability directly to each resident rather than to the property.
It was the storm that allowed the wets to grab the wheel and run her aground. The poll tax riots against weakened her, but she shipwrecked her political career by not supporting joining the Exchange Rate Mechanism (precursor to the Euro) that her cabinet forced her to do. It was a party coup, and Thatcher's low rating with the populus was just a chance to attack. Heseltine, Hurd, etc didn't give two figs about the poll tax issue - it was all about their wanting to be part of a federal European superstate. Heseltine and Major have been recently exhumed from their political graves to shill non-stop on the news for the Houses of Parliament (in the words of their Thatcher cabinet colleague who is likely to be the next PM if we have another coup before November) to become "a regional assembly in a federal Europe."

Thatcher was for 'Europe' through the 80s, but the process to turn the EEC into the EU - economic cooperation to political union - turned her (and most right-of-centre Brexit-supporters. The left-of-centre ones didn't like the EEC in the first place!) against Brussels. The ERM, and its total failure in the UK (we got kicked out), meant that - in office at least - even the most pro-EU politicians favoured a half-in, half-out approach to the EU until July 2016.
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effectively makes it impossible for a recent graduate to live with students because he or she brings in the council tax liability for the entire property on his or her back, and thus contributes to the formation of student ghettos).
You pay 2/3rds if only one person eligible to pay lives in the household (that might not count for single occupancy).

And while there are high percentages of students living in certain areas near universities, you often find graduates in amongst them. And regular people. My MP's home address while living in my student house (and 1 year as the sole non-student) was on my road. My brothers student house (and for a sandwich year of not being a student, but living as the sole non-student) had a dwelling taking up the back of the house whose residents were a youngish not-very-educated couple IIRC. My brothers and my situation of living with students might have been a bit rarer due to the tax issue, but the living amongst townies wasn't - at least for unis that are in a city (and not so old that there's literally been battles between students and townsfolk - ie Oxbridge) rather than a bit more remote and thus most non-students have no reason to live nearby (eg Warwick Uni).
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kphoger

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Re: People who call real estate "fake estate"
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2019, 08:00:38 PM »

When the serial killer Dennis Rader was finally caught in 2005, the event was reported worldwide and British newspapers twisted themselves into pretzels trying to describe his day job.  The Guardian, for example, eventually settled on dogcatcher.  In actuality he worked for the City of Park City as a code compliance officer, often shortened to compliance officer in American newspapers, and besides animal control (not just dogs), his job description included checking that homeowners were keeping their yards mowed to below the maximum height allowed by city ordinance.

Ah, BTK...  The reason I know he was in code enforcement for Park City is that the company I work for built its property in Park City while he was working as such.  He is the reason our building has the company name and logo on the building itself instead of a sign by the street.  The proposed sign was against code for whatever reason, and BTK came up with the idea of making it part of the structure itself and thereby avoiding any legal issues.

Not only did he work for the city, but he also held office in an area Lutheran church.  My father was/is a Lutheran pastor in Wichita, and he remembers (I think more on than one occasion) an ex-girlfriend of BTK's calling him to ask if she should have known Dennis was a serial killer—feeling guilty that she should have picked up on clues.  My dad then had to explain, with the utmost concern and tact, that she was calling the wrong church and therefore had reached the wrong pastor.
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