1 3 4 5  7 8 9 13
(one newsgroup dropped) On the contrary, legal jargon is among the most formalized forms of English. >

It's a mistake to confuse formalism with literacy. Consider autism and you'll understand. Lawyers hide behind their jargon to avoid ... the fact that it requires intelligence and a reasonable level of literacy to express things precisely and unambiguously in it.

So the judge's error was not in his specific application of American legal jargon but in his choice to use it at all. I'm glad we cleared that up. That what he said was easily comprehended by most hearers and easily researched by most of the remainder has, I infer, nothing to do with whether he should have said it. Why not forward a Google-Groups URL for this thread to the American Bar Association?
It's clear by now that you're just going to shift your ground no matter what arguments are raised against you. And I have to admit that you're very good at it, particularly when you ignore the parts that don't support you. I'm even willing to concede that most speakers of what you call English (i.e., that tongue spoken in at least part of the Isles) might not instantly recognize the phrase "bail is exonerated" although I still think that most of them could figure it out if given a bit of context, as in the article.

So you may have a legitimate point in arguing that the newspaper should not simply have quoted the judge without explanation (I don't agree with you, but my disagreement doesn't necessarily invalidate what you have said.) But to argue that the judge should not have used the standard American legal-English usage for the situation he had before him, and to base that argument on the premises that (1) it's jargon, (2) it's an Americanism, and (3) the newspaper shouldn't have quoted him verbatim (as if he had any control over that) strikes me as thoroughly obtuse.
Feel free to disagree. I'm sure you will.

Bob Lieblich
Who knew what the phrase meant long before this thread began
It's a mistake to confuse formalism with literacy. Consider autism ... of literacy to express things precisely and unambiguously in it.

So the judge's error was not in his specific application of American legal jargon but in his choice to use ... if he had any control over that) strikes me as thoroughly obtuse. Feel free to disagree. I'm sure you will.

If he answers this he is in line for a medal: Stubborness beyond the line of duty.
Izzy
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
(one newsgroup dropped)

Lawyers hide behind their jargon to avoid thought, either because they find it difficult or because they aren't up to ... the fact that it requires intelligence and a reasonable level of literacy to express things precisely and unambiguously in it.

The lawyers I dealt with in life (mostly legislative drafters) claimed that they used a formalized language, a jargon if you will, and you apparently do, to avoid trouble rather than to avoid thought. I believed them because I had observed them operating intelligently under fire and noted a professional tendency to deplore kerfuffle.

This group is, in and of itself, a sufficient demonstration of the pitfalls that await the intelligent and literate improviser.
If you want to say that the judge was still ... "BrE". We all speak one dialect or another of English.

Well, no, that is where I differ. English has some variants, I agree - Australian, South African, Kiwi, Indian, to ... a quite different language, split off from English a while back - still occasionally understandable. Rather like Dutch and Afrikaans.

Now you're being silly, and you've confirmed the worst about your prejudicial attitude toward the English language. You've proved yourself not worth taking seriously.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
You aren't in a position to say that, Peter. ... to be funny but they were impressed by your racism.

I don't agree. Nobody is infallible, so I know that I can't have given such an impression - it was ... to take offence to, that is up to you, I certainly don't get involved in that sort of ridiculous nonsense.

You come off as Mr Know-It-All, Mr Infallibile, Mr I'm-Always-Right- and-You're-Always-Wrong-When-It-Comes-to-Language. Whatever you intend, that's how you sppear. Accept it and deal with it. And you're doing it again.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
This hits it right square on the whateveritis.

The thumb, yes, I agree. Clearly the issue was that the message was badly communicated to an English audience because the sub-editor didn't translate it in the Telegraph.

The issue was and continues to be your amazing inflexibility about how things ought to be said. Don't read anything you haven't written yourself, and don't listen to anything you haven't said yourself. That will solve all your language problems.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
Thank you, I always like corrections to my signatures, it indicates that somebody reads them.

Then you'll undoubtedly be pleased when I point out that the sig in one of your earlier posts in this thread has misidentified Quentin Crisp as "Quinten" Crisp.

Yes, thank you indeed. I see signatures similar to Persian carpets, with a flaw to offest the perfection. As I have also often remarked before, I like people to point out the errors, but I very seldom correct them.

It is an unalterable law that people who claim to care about the human race are utterly indifferent to the sufferings of individuals - Quinten Crisp, Resident Alien
* TagZilla 0.057 * http://tagzilla.mozdev.org
On 14 Jun 2005, nancy13g wrote

Then you'll undoubtedly be pleased when I point out that ... in this thread has misidentified Quentin Crisp as "Quinten" Crisp.

Remarkably well-balanced person. (We a couple, not royal "We" travelled from Colchester to Cambridge c.1984 to see his one-many show/discourse. Good stuff.)

You were lucky - I'd have loved to have watched it.

Yes, he was strangely well-balanced. Almost an advertisement for having a chip on both shoulders. He was also extremely funny, I've enjoyed his books greatly, light-weight though they might be.

Politics are not an instrument for effecting social change; they are the art of making the inevitable appear to be a matter of wise human choice. -Quentin Crisp, 'Resident Alien'
* TagZilla 0.057 * http://tagzilla.mozdev.org
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
I'm even willing to concede that most speakers of what you call English (i.e., that tongue spoken in at least ... quoted the judge without explanation (I don't agree with you, but my disagreement doesn't necessarily invalidate what you have said.)

That is exactly the ground on which I'd hope all reasonable people to agree.

I still think that it would be nicer if people who used the expression used it properly, but I have no ambitions to improve the language of lawyers myself. I simply support campaigns for clear English and hope that, eventually, lawyers will be shamed into speaking properly.

But then I am an optimist.

The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. J.S.Mill Chapter II, Utilitarianism * TagZilla 0.057 * http://tagzilla.mozdev.org
Show more