Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 19 14:14:23 UTC 2010

_Legalistics_ isn't in OED.


On Wed, May 19, 2010 at 9:58 AM, Dave Wilton <dave at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Dave Wilton <dave at WILTON.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Legalistics
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Journalists will drop the qualifications when he has been convicted in a
> court--whether via jury verdict or plea agreement (i.e., confession in open
> court). The qualifications are simply a protection against libel, as well
> as
> being technically true. Just think back to Richard Jewel and the Atlanta
> Olympics bombing or Steven Hatfill and the Anthrax mailer as to why the
> qualifications are necessary.
> >There is no reason to believe he is falsely confessing.
> Really? There are lots of nuts who confess to crimes they had nothing to do
> with. It's not that I doubt the confession in this case, but professional
> journalists at respected media outlets get the basic facts of stories wrong
> on a daily basis (e.g., Judith Miller of the NYT or any news article on
> linguistics you've ever read), and it's not beyond law enforcement to
> crucify a person in the media whom they "know" to be guilty. Judging guilt
> or innocence through the filter of the media is not a reliable way to work.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
> Of
> Bill Palmer
> Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 5:14 AM
> Subject: Legalistics
> Is there a lawyer in the house? Or a journalist?
> Faisal Shahzad has reportedly confessed to being the Times Square (almost)
> bomber.  There is no reason to believe he is falsely confessing. Yet every
> media source refers to him as either the Times Square bombing "suspect", or
> the "alleged" Times Square bomber.
> At what point can we drop the qualifications, and call him what he has
> confessed to being?
>  Bill Palmer
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -
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> The American Dialect Society -

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