7th ed

Allan Falk, Attorney at Law falklaw at ACD.NET
Tue Nov 30 01:23:48 UTC 1999

I have a Revised 4th edition I'd be happy to sell for something towards the
new edition.  I've had it since law school (Yale '72), but it's in
practically mint condition.

Allan Falk
----- Original Message -----
From: Fred Shapiro <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Saturday, November 13, 1999 10:13 PM
Subject: Re: 7th ed

> On Sat, 13 Nov 1999, Bethany K. Dumas wrote:
> > $74.69. I am eager to read and see why Fred thinks it is light years
> > better than the 6th.
> I thought the deficiencies of the pre-Bryan Garner editions of Black's
> were obvious and well-known.  They basically lack information on variant
> spellings, parts of speech, inflected forms, etymologies, field labels,
> usage labels and notes, derivatives, synonym notes, and illustrative
> citations.  They are filled with what David Mellinkoff has called "scraps
> of what is said to be law -- Anglo-Saxon law, Hindu, Japanese, Jewish,
> Greek, Spanish, French, Roman, canon, ecclesiastical, civil, and something
> called 'Old European' law," "disembodied snatches of law French and
> Latin," "claptrap from the feudal system ... the armor, the weapons, the
> ancient customs.  Page after page of trivia," as well as general terms of
> well-known meaning, such as "garden," "horsepower," "martini," and "sex."
> On the other hand, the pre-Garner Black's omitted newer (i.e.,
> 20th-century) vocabulary such as "genocide" or "victimless crime."
> Most importantly, Black's definitions relied heavily on undiscriminating
> collection of judicial authority as opposed to clear, concise definitions
> based on available evidence of overall usage, and often failed to indicate
> the range of meanings of a term.
> My article, "Linguistic Applications of LEXIS and WESTLAW," 30 Jurimetrics
> Journal 147 (1990) has a fuller discussion of all this.
> > Also -- I am in the market for editions 1-4 if they are in reasonably
> > condition and reasonably priced (I went through law school on 5, then
> > bought 6 when it came out).
> The first edition is a rare book that you won't obtain so easily, but Law
> Book Exchange has reprinted it (I think they reprinted the second edition
> as well).
> Fred R. Shapiro                             Coeditor (with Jane Garry)
> Associate Librarian for Public Services     TRIAL AND ERROR: AN OXFORD
>   and Lecturer in Legal Research            ANTHOLOGY OF LEGAL STORIES
> Yale Law School                             Oxford University Press, 1998
> e-mail: fred.shapiro at yale.edu               ISBN 0-19-509547-2

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