Is the Solicitor General Really a General?:
In last week's oral argument that I noted yesterday, Justice Stevens referred to Solicitor General Paul Clement as "General Clement," and at least a few commenters wondered if it is correct to refer to the SG as a "General."

  There's a literature on this question, actually. I think Michael Herz has it right in this article on the subject: Washington, Patton, Schwartzkopf, and . . . Ashcroft?. Herz argues that Attorneys General and Solicitors General aren't Generals; they're Attorneys and Solicitors. So calling Clement "General Clement" is wrong, I think. I vaguely recall seeing the opposite argument somewhere (perhaps in The Green Bag a few years ago?), but I can't seem to find it. Perhaps some Readers General can jog my memory?

  UPDATE: The online etymology dictionary suggests that the unusual subject-first, adjective-second order of the phrase owes to its french origins:
Attorney general first recorded 1533 in sense of "legal officer of the state" (1292 in Anglo-Fr.), from Fr., hence the odd plural (subject first, adjective second).