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extort him v extort from him

Don't say that: 

extort him

Do say this: 

extort from him


Extortion is quite a complicated concept.

It is

a) using illegal means, or the threat of illegal means, to force a person to make a payment or to hand over something else. It's more complicated than for example, the "stand and deliver" of the highwayman - that would be simple robbery. It might be threatening to release doctored photographs or recordings if a payment is not made.

The example that reaches millions of people daily are the "I've hacked your account so send me bitcoin or I'll distribute photos of you doing naughty things" type.

b) sustained physical threats or action against a person, some other person or thing. For example, "if you don't pay us 250 dollars each week, we can't protect your shop against arson" when it's clear that this protection money is specifically so that the gang does not, itself, set fire to the shop.

It follows then that the use of "extort" must, in order to make sense, be that money is extorted from the victim. To say "the victim was extorted" is nonsense.



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