Saturday, April 02, 2005

McNeil v. Middleton (9th Cir. - March 29, 2005)

Cut it out, Judge Fernandez. In four paragraphs of this opinion, he struggles mightily to make sure to use such twenty-cent words as "fossicked," "bosk," "daedalian," "banausic," and "recrudescent". We've all got a thesaurus on our computer or on our desk. It ain't tough to open 'em up. Maybe someone will find it impressive that you knew enough to say that "the jury could consider BWS [Battered Women's Syndrome] when it ruminated upon the actual-belief issue." But those words don't mean anything different than saying that the jury could consider BWS when it thought about the actual belief issue. Unless you meant that the jury was chewing cud.

The only thing that this choice of language does is to prove that there are lots of synonyms out that serve merely to obfuscate. Stop trying so hard to impress.