elwen: (english the bully)
Stolen from mole-spam, and I can't do better than the original subject line:
Lesbians angry at gay women

Basically, people from the island of Lesbos are claiming that use of the word "lesbian" to refer to gay women is a demeaning human rights violation.

Next, are people from India going to sue Native Americans, because they don't want to be associated with scalping and trippy vision quests?

I mean, I feel their pain, but . . . you're not going to transform language with a lawsuit. Words will have the meanings they've evolved to have, even if those grew out of prejudice or dumb mistake. Like "sinister" lefties and "vulgar" commoners.

Negatived!

Sep. 21st, 2006 09:04 pm
elwen: (facepalm)
Our crim law prof is something of a language nazi. Possibly, this comes with the territory of crim law, which seems like a grammatically nitpicky area -- you have to do things like determine whether the grammar of a statute suggests that the adverbial mental state requirement actually applies to only one or a few of the elements of the crime. [For example, if the crime is to "knowingly possess more than 625mg of a hallucinogen", do you have to know there's more than 625mg or just know that you possess it?*]

I'm not sure I can quite agree with him when he complained that "utilize" isn't a word and it should always be "use", but I was rather amused when he complained that the MPC is probably the "first place since Beowulf" that uses "negative" as a verb. [E.g. § 2.01(1)(a): "the ignorance or mistake negatives the purpose...required to establish a material element of the offense..."] It's pretty atrocious.

In related news, I'm amused that tonight's crim law reading is all about voluntary intoxication as a defense to crimes requiring various mental states. Seems . . . potentially relevant, to all those people going to Bar Review. ;P

[Bar Review = social event every Thursday night, wherein lots of law students descend on a designated bar. Get it? Bar Review? Har har har.]

* The answer, at least in some cases, is that "knowingly" does also apply to the amount. See, e.g., People v. Ryan, 82 N.Y.2d 497 (1993).

ETA: Because I know someone will bring it up if I don't... yes, apparently "negative" is listed as a transitive verb in dictionaries like Merriam-Webster. All I can say is, "Eww."

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