‘Tort’ is the French word for wrong. (Other terms derived from this root are the adjective ‘tortious’, the adverb ‘tortiously’ and ‘tortfeasor’, the name for one who commits a tort.) Yet, just as all dogs are animals but not all animals are dogs, so all torts are wrongs but not all wrongs are torts. To make sense of this conundrum, we must distinguish (a) civil wrongs from criminal wrongs; (b) equitable civil wrongs from common law civil wrongs; and (c) the different varieties of common law civil wrongs, some of them known as ‘torts’, some going under different names.
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