Today in an email, a friend of mine was complaining about someone trying to build up their Helium downline (their Craigslist ad said earn up to $250 a day--the best earner there I know only makes a thousand a year, and he has a lot of articles), and mentioned that someone was pettifogging. It is a word he picked up from the O'Reilly Factor.
Being the lover of words that I am, and never encountering this word before, I reached for my dictionary--actually two of them.
The Thornton-Barnhart Comprehensive Desk Dictionary (1952) said--
Pettifog: carry on a petty or shifty law business.
And Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary (2003) which is the size of a cider block added--
Pettifog: to bicker or quibble over trifles or unimportant matters.
Webster also noted that the term had been around since 1570.
Looking it over its definition, I think that this term is due for a comeback. Let's be honest--the internet is full of this type of behavior. People are lying about the profitability of various sites, and one needs to take a grain of salt whenever one reads a webpage, whether it be an ad, a news report, or someone's blog (in the case of any of my sites, I suggest two grains of salt--don't worry your blood pressure will thank you later).
So let's go out there and use inflict this word on other people--remember to save a word, it must be used.