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Elizabeth G. Thornburg is a professor at SMU Dedman School of Law, where she teaches and writes about civil procedure and alternative dispute resolution. Fred R.
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Shapiro is associate librarian and lecturer in legal research, Yale Law School. He is the editor of The Yale Book of Quotations, available from Yale University Press, and a major contributor to both the second and the third editions of the Oxford English Dictionary.
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It surfaced during the frontier days of Texas. Well, not any more.
But then, something even more interesting began to happen: The language swap went back the other way. Find an Expert.
Lawtalk: The Unknown Stories Behind Familiar Legal Expressions (Yale …
This is a gem of a book for anyone interested in law or language and would make an excellent addition to any library collection. Lawtalk is well-documented and well-researched. Authors James E. Shapiro each have experience in lexicography or in writing about legal language and culture. They are eminently qualified.
Clapp, Thornburg, and Galanter are law professors. He is also a compiler of the forthcoming The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs. The four authors clearly relish their discussions of linguistic history, and Lawtalk yields a multitude of interesting and amusing tidbits. The phrase was popularized in legal circles only after the release in of the film by the same name.
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Not all of the chapters explore such inoffensive histories. The sources of the expressions are as varied as the expressions themselves and include Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, the singer-songwriter Warren Zevon, Dr. Seuss, and Thomas Jefferson.
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