Fiducial Not Fiduciary

A one bit image from the Pixel Noise blog.

I’ve been having so much fun lately with the #definethis word game on Twitter.    I was very struck yesterday that several players seemed to confuse the daily word, fiducial,  with the very similar sounding but actually a quite different word fiduciary.’s definition of fiducial

Based on or having trust: fiducial dependence upon God.
Accepted as a fixed basis of reference or comparison: a fiducial point; a fiducial temperature.
does mention trust,  which is of course a critical component of a fiduciary relationship.

( defines fiduciary as:



Law . a person to whom property or power is entrusted forthe benefit of another.



Law . of or pertaining to the relation between a fiduciaryand his or her principal: a fiduciary capacity; a fiduciary duty.


of, based on, or in the nature of trust and confidence, asin public affairs: a fiduciary obligation of government employees.


depending on public confidence for value or currency, as fiat money.

Wikipedia’s disambiguation page for fiducial sheds some light.   The very first sentence on this page reads :
“In law the term “fiducial” means “of or pertaining to a fiduciary“.”   This page goes on to specify several other meanings,  including uses specific to imaging technology, mathematics, statistics and physics.   It was genuinely thrilling to me to explore these related yet distinct terms on Twitter.

Even though I am as yet following only less than 400 people,  I spent a little time yesterday un-following accounts that have not followed me back.    I was more than a little disappointed to find that TwitCleaner,  which my friend Holly highly recommended did not offer me an option of seeing a list of those who were not following me back.    I manually looked at all of the accounts TwitCleaner flagged (for spam, excessive posting, lack of interaction, etc.) and un-followed most everyone who is not following me back.    If you have 2,000 followers and you’re only following 20 users,  I’m sorry but you are not anyone I want to chat with on Twitter.

Which is not to say that there is anything wrong with being a broadcaster on Twitter.   There are lots of tweeps who enjoy getting updates in their stream and are not particularly concerned with who does or does not follow them back.    Like any and every other social media site,  Twitter is just a tool and there are probably as many different ways to use that tool as there are users.   It sometimes seems to me that a great deal of the tensions and disagreements in social media are between users who use the same tool differently and are unable to understand or accept that the other person’s different use of the same tool is every bit as legitimate as their own use.   (This applies in spades on Empire Avenue.)   Are you on Twitter?   Are you looking for reciprocal followers or do you prefer to subscribe to broadcasters to get information?   Leave a comment and let me know.

One comment on “Fiducial Not Fiduciary

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s