Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Words have their common meanings, except when otherwise

I do not find that anyone on the internet has mocked Miss. Code Ann. 1-3-65:
All words and phrases contained in the statutes are used according to their common and ordinary acceptation and meaning; but technical words and phrases according to their technical meaning.
At which point one must wish for some touchstone for distinguishing "technical" terms from the other kind. I guess we are to take "technical" in its, er, common and ordinary acceptation?

(This inspired by a VC thread on the SCOTUS's increasing resort to dictionaries.)


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