You May Not Have a Lawyer Dog

A court in Louisiana is pretty hostile in its reading of slang as spoken by a suspect.

9 comments:

Gringo said...

Another way of looking at it is that addressing the judge as "dawg" shows a lack of respect. Most of us have come to the conclusion that a courtroom is not the place to use slang.

I was waiting to be called as a witness for my HOA in a civil suit initiated by a wealthy investor- who ended up blowing ~ $200,000 in his and our court costs in his futile suits against us. A fellow homeowner was also waiting to be called as a witness. She told me of a time she had been before a judge- I forget why- and used "hell" in front of the judge. She spend the night in jail for her efforts.

E Hines said...

Even without the comma, "lawyer dog" is a pretty clear slang phrase identifying suspect's legitimate call.

Dawg.

Du-u-ude.

Eric Hines

Eric Blair said...

Legalism. Crappy judges. They want respect, they need to be respectable. Or at least act respectable.

Krag said...

I thought the story was pretty funny. English. You were taught it for free for 12 years, it is not that hard. Use it. Or don't, and live with the consequences.

Tom said...

Pure unadulterated speciesism!

MikeD said...

The suspect did not call the judge "dawg". The judge wasn't even in the room. If you read the article, the suspect was being questioned by police when he said:

"If y'all, this is how I feel, if y'all think I did it, I know that I didn't do it so why don't you just give me a lawyer dawg cause this is not what's up."

Now, what the judge has said, is that because he asked for a "laywer dog" (which doesn't exist) that the above statement wasn't clear that the suspect requested a lawyer, which would have required police to cease questioning until a lawyer was present. Who here legitimately thinks that request for a lawyer was unclear? The SCOTUS has ruled in the past that one doesn't need to speak "with the discrimination of an Oxford don" in Davis v. United States, in order to make the request for legal counsel binding. This is a judge attempting to railroad a suspect out of their constitutional rights by claiming that the request was totally ambiguous, and thus the suspect had never exercised their right to an attorney.

That is load of horse feces, and I don't see roses in need of fertilizer around here.

jabrwok said...

their constitutional rights

"Their"? How many of these suspects were there?

Tom said...

The use of they / their as a singular pronoun goes back at least four centuries in English. Lord Byron, Jane Austen, Daniel Defoe, and William Paley all used it. However, in the 19th century some grammarians suddenly decided it was wrong to do that. Why should I take their novel linguistic theories over centuries of good common usage?

On the other hand, if we wanted to get rid of the ridiculous Celtic addition of the auxiliary verb in questions ("Where DID you go?"), I would be all for that. "Where went you?" Very simple and straight forward. Also, let's bring back real singular and plural second person pronouns; that makes sense and is clearer. Or, maybe make "you" singular and "y'all" the standard plural.

And let's rescue "whom"! As an object pronoun, it makes perfect, logical sense with he/him, she/her, & they/them. The fact that a lot of English speakers can't tell the difference between a subject and object is just sad.

And really, Latin grammar has no place in the English language. We're Germanic, thank you very much. Is it too late to get a refund?

Texan99 said...

It would be a funny story if not for the unfortunately undeniable denial of the guy's constitutional right to a lawyer. There's no good-faith way to avoid understanding his clear request for one.