I'm sure you are right. I have heard that defense before. It didn't make sense to me then either. The English language wasn't different then (many similar words with like meaning) but, IIRC, editors did apply feat. more liberally (e.g. replacing synonyms like "with" with "feat."). Since MB AC, it seems that the rule is applied more/most strictly. I think, to get around this rule! That makes even less sense to me. Why just this one word in this one language? If there is some important concept here that should be modeled, it should be done in a language independent way.
MB should just model the truth and let consumers adapt. Picard seems malleable enough to be able to bend the truth, in this regard, to individual likings.