Another example of French influence is that in thatlanguageadjectives normally follow the noun that they modify. Severalsuchcombinations are still common in legal English, including ,and . Also, Law French allowed thecreationof worlds ending in to indicate the person who was therecipientor object of an action (: "the person leased to"). Lawyers,even today, are coining new words on this pattern, including and
The French of lawyers became increasingly corrupt,andits vocabulary more and more limited. By the seventeenth centurylawyerswere tossing in English words with abandon. Consider a famouscasefrom 1631, in which a condemned prisoner threw a brickbat at thejudge. The report noted that . The judge was not amused. He ordered that thedefendant'sright arm be amputated and that he be
Parliament finally ended the use of Latin and Frenchinlegal proceedings in 1731. By then, however, it was deliveringmerelya coup de grâce.
In 2010 I began fieldwork in Greater Orlando, an area of Central Florida that has experienced rapid demographic changes due to the large influx of Puerto Ricans, US citizens by birth, and other Hispanics. For two years I lived with a number of residents, documented and undocumented, in four suburban locations (including Buenaventura Lakes). These were the homes of Venezuelan, Colombian, Guatemalan, and Puerto Rican families who rented out spare rooms, and sometimes even couches and spaces on the floor, to family, friends, co-workers, and to unthreatening strangers—like myself—to supplement their income and cover the monthly mortgage payment in an informal housing market similar to the system among El Salvadorians in the suburbs of Long Island, New York. I also attended local cultural, political, and business-related events, and collected information at churches, schools, and businesses. My research combines traditional anthropological methods with textual analysis to interweave data gathered through participant observation, informal and semi-structured interviews, archival research, census results, and new media (internet blogs and forums). These sources allowed me to document the voices and experiences of close to two hundred Central Florida residents.
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According to Lee Kingerly, who handled publicity for Landstar Homes and worked for a Chicago-based marketing firm, initially many of those who moved into the development were local. However, in December of 1978, Landstar began a major marketing push in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Boston, Chicago, and New York. Brokerage offices were later established in London and West Germany; meanwhile, similar marketing efforts were underway in Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, France, and Kuwait. Until the 1990s John Smith lived on Bit Court, a street in BVL. Between 1978 and 1986 he recalls having a neighbor to his left from Holland, a neighbor to the right from Venezuela, while a Cuban and a British family occupied the other two houses on the cul-de-sac. In May of 1991, the described another street in BVL that housed "New Yoricans, Italians, Cubans, Filipinos, Indians, Jamaicans, Colombians, Brits, Anglos, and Puerto Ricans." Through its marketing initiatives, Landstar helped transform rural Osceola County into a global metropolitan space. Sales eventually slowed in the international market, however, and by 1994 Landstar's only full sales office outside the state of Florida was in San Juan.
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Perhaps the best way to sound like a lawyer is tothrowin as much legal vocabulary as possible. There are literallythousandsof technical terms from which to choose. Words of Latin andFrenchorigin are particularly impressive. No one will doubt that youarea real member of the bar if you can convincingly bandy about phraseslikeexpunging a lis pendens or quashing a subpoena duces tecum.
Lawyers may also have strategic reasons for favoringlegaleseand the obscurity it engenders. For instance, an outfit thatrentshang gliders to the public may be legally obligated to warn of thedangersof the sport, but at the same time would not want to discouragepotentialcustomers. Or a department store might wish to give out credit onone-sidedor even oppressive terms, but might fear that consumers would balk iftheyrealized the truth. Convoluted and incomprehensible legalese istheobvious solution.
Perhaps a more legitimate justification for thelongwindednessof the profession derives from its adversarial nature. Virtuallyanylegal document is liable, at some point in its existence, to be pickedapartby an opponent eager to exploit a loophole or ambiguity in hopes ofwigglingout of an agreement or contesting a will. Legislation is noexception;almost any statute will be subjected to intense scrutiny by lawyerstryingto poke holes in it on behalf of their clients. Those who draftsuchdocuments must anticipate these attacks. Therefore, theyobsessivelytry to cover every base, plug every loophole, and deal with everyremotelypossible contingency. The result is ever longer, denser, and morecomplicatedprose.
"Covering all the bases" is no doubt the explanationfora highly contorted definition of buttocks in a Florida ordinance aimedatreducing the amount of exposed flesh in public places. To requiredancersto cover their buttocks, without more, would only invite them to skirttherule by wearing the skimpiest covering possible. The county thusdeemedit prudent to define buttocks as precisely as it could:
"Puerto Ricans Live Free": Race, Language, and …
"" and "" panethnic labels have been critiqued for homogenizing a variety of racial and ethnic groups, social classes, cultural traditions, languages, dialects, colonial legacies, and immigrant histories. The "Hispanic" identifier emerged from political conversations and federal legislation that required accurate statistical documentation at a historical moment when Latin American and Caribbean migration was increasing, civil rights activism was on the rise, and there was growing concern about minority groups' disadvantages. In 1976 the US Congress passed , the only law in the country's history that mandated the collection, analysis, and publication of data about a specific ethnic group—"Americans of Spanish origin or descent"—and defined the population to be enumerated. , who served in the administration of three presidents and helped coin the "Hispanic" label for the government, describes her participation in a Hispanic Task Force that met for almost six months in the 1970s to discuss which term should be adopted to uniformly collect data about the population. The participants entertained the terms "Spanish-speaking," "Spanish-surnamed," "Latin American," "Hispanic," and "Latino." But, it was not until the late 1990s that the term "Latino," derived from the Spanish word for Latin America (latinoamerica), was officially adopted by the US Census Bureau to be used alongside "Hispanic" in the 2000 Census. "Latino" is a grassroots alternative to "Hispanic" that was included as a result of criticism from community activists, academics, and other individuals that rejected the government-imposed label. "Latino" describes a geographically derived national origin group, and is "an attempt to embrace all Latin American nationalities, including those which neither have ties to Spain nor are necessarily Spanish-dominant groups."