prejudice, v. (as stupidism)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Jan 31 18:18:03 UTC 2005

Thank you, John. So it's a well established stupidism.


"Baker, John" <JMB at STRADLEY.COM> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Baker, John"
Subject: Re: prejudice, v. (as stupidism)

It's a legalism. Events and evidence that are unfair to one party are said to prejudice that party. Here's a few examples from recent cases. I'm not going to bother with cites, because this usage is extremely common.

"Conversely, evidence which is not relevant to prove some part of the prosecution's case should not be admitted solely to inflame the jury and prejudice the defendant."

"An error is harmless if (1) the error did not prejudice the defendant or the prejudice was de minimis . . . ."

"To be defamatory, a statement need only prejudice the plaintiff in the eyes of a substantial and respectable minority of the community."

Presumably, what the attorney meant was that the nature of the jury would prejudice (i.e., be prejudicial to) Jackson. It would not be idiomatic, in this context, to say that persons prejudice Jackson.

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
Of Jonathan Lighter
Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 7:54 AM
Subject: prejudice, v. (as stupidism)

Fox & Friends, Jan. 31, 2005 :

"If you have a jury of older people, who believe in family values, who are Christians, who have children, they're going to prejudice Jackson from the start."

What the attorney means is, they'll be prejudiced against Jackson from the start.


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