NPR logo

Madoff: A Scoundrel Or A Sociopath?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/103082540/103083599" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Madoff: A Scoundrel Or A Sociopath?

Commentary

Madoff: A Scoundrel Or A Sociopath?

Madoff: A Scoundrel Or A Sociopath?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/103082540/103083599" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

White-collar fraudster Bernie Madoff has been called a range of nasty names — from the Dickensian "scoundrel" to the clinically cruel "sociopath." Linguist Geoff Nunberg considers the proper terminology for condemning Madoff.

Nunberg teaches at the University of California at Berkeley School of Information, and he is the former chair of the American Heritage Dictionary usage panel.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.