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Lane, Forrest McLendon, Julius Thomas III, Sharon Washington, Christian Dante White Show Location: Lyceum Theatre Disc also includes 90 minutes of bonus interviews/behind the scenes/reviews (A)
References are often used to support information discussed in essays
Bentham was one of the more ardent proponents of theconspiracytheory, referring to "lawyer's cant" as "an instrument, an iron crow orapick-lock key, for collecting plunder." After all, he wrote, ifyoustrip away all the jargon, "every simpleton is ready to say--What istherein all that? 'Tis just what I should have done myself."
That lawyers actually created legal English, orclingto old habits, to keep the public in the dark and protect theirmonopolyon legal services is surely exaggerated. Still, lawyers seem totrotout their most ancient, redundant, and convoluted phrases when writingdocumentsdirectly for clients, particularly wills. The average will (foranestate without potential tax liability) is not conceptually all thatcomplex,and most of the language is pure boilerplate. Yet lawyers areableto charge hundreds of dollars for drafting one. All too often,complexityof language masks simplicity of content.
Not too much information available on this show, except that it appears to be an off-Broadway musical. Very cute and entertaining. Recorded from a tripod in the back of the house. Some generational loss. (Also included on the disc: Rhapsody In Gershwin).
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Because it was the main language of the professionforso many centuries, French has had a tremendous influence on legallanguage. A vast amount of legal vocabulary is French in origin, including suchbasicwords as and.
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Another example of French influence is that in thatlanguageadjectives normally follow the noun that they modify. Severalsuchcombinations are still common in legal English, including ,and . Also, Law French allowed thecreationof worlds ending in to indicate the person who was therecipientor object of an action (: "the person leased to"). Lawyers,even today, are coining new words on this pattern, including and
The French of lawyers became increasingly corrupt,andits vocabulary more and more limited. By the seventeenth centurylawyerswere tossing in English words with abandon. Consider a famouscasefrom 1631, in which a condemned prisoner threw a brickbat at thejudge. The report noted that . The judge was not amused. He ordered that thedefendant'sright arm be amputated and that he be
Parliament finally ended the use of Latin and Frenchinlegal proceedings in 1731. By then, however, it was deliveringmerelya coup de grâce.
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Things were similar in the United States. Despiteinitial antipathy in the colonies towards the legal profession, theAmericanssoon realized that they needed to develop a system of justice. Theonly real model at their disposal was the English one. ThefledglingAmerican states adopted not only England's common law, but its languageaswell.
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Nonetheless, criticism of legal language continued. ThomasJefferson complained about the verbosity of statutes, their endlesstautologies,and "their multiplied efforts at certainty by saids andaforesaids." Yet American legal language ended up being very similar to its Englishparent.
Back in England, another critic pointed out that thesimplephrase I give you that orange, when written out by a lawyer, wouldbecomesomething like the following: