I’m delighted to report that Beth Thornburg and James E. Clapp — who, together with Marc Galanter and Fred Shapiro, are the coauthors of the fascinating Lawtalk: The Unknown Stories Behind Familiar Legal Expressions will be guest-blogging this week on the general topic of their book. (Beth Thornburg is a professor at SMU Dedman School of Law, where she teaches and writes about civil procedure and alternative dispute resolution; James Clapp is a lawyer and the author of Random House Webster’s Dictionary of the Law; Marc Galanter is John & Rylla Bosshard Professor Emeritus of Law and South Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison, and the author of Lowering the Bar: Lawyer Jokes and Legal Culture; and Fred R. Shapiro is associate librarian and lecturer in legal research, Yale Law School, the editor of The Yale Book of Quotations, and a major contributor to both the second and the third editions of the Oxford English Dictionary.)
I’ve been much enjoying Lawtalk myself, and I think many of our readers would as well. Though a few of the entries have an ideological slant that I found off-putting, I’ve seen no evidence that the slant generally undermines any of the etymological discussion — the discussion that forms the overwhelming majority of the book — and on balance I’ve still been finding the book to be a very interesting and informative read. I much look forward to our guest-bloggers’ posts on the subject.