Wednesday, February 04, 2009

"Words"

As a philosophy major in college, we were always making up words to describe concepts that we wrote about.  You know how Word underlines non-words, and you can right click and select "add to dictionary"?  I had to do that all the time in college, and now I'm finding that we have to do the same thing in law school.  These aren't fictional words to the same extent as philosophy words were, but I guess they're unconventional enough to be left out of Word's dictionary.

Here's a list of the words (or "words") that Word doesn't recognize, just from today so far:
  • Promisor
  • Promisee
  • Promissory
  • Disaffirmance
  • Appellee
  • Estop
  • Estopped
Those are just from today, and I'm sure I'll find many more to add to that list.

ADDED:  One of the commenters found more legal "words" to add to the list.
  • Dilectual
  • Dispositive
  • Liberative

17 comments:

Guy Fawkes said...

I don't think it's quite the unusual phenomenon, although I agree it's interesting, that you seem to subscribe to it. Almost every profession and academic field, not to mention other types of work and thinking, has its own peculiar dialect. Many of these terms become part of other fields, even becoming part of common parlance after a variable period of time, as you well know :)

The entire point of written communication is...effective, erm, communication. I don't have to tell you, of all people, this. Grammar nazi or not (trust me, I'm pretty close to your level, just without a dedicated online/press gig :P), made-up words are only "unconventional" in a broad context. Given enough time, even the narrower contexts for made-up words become truly "conventional." <3

Anonymous said...

I was going to agree with Guy and point out the same thing - every profession has this, sorry you lawyers aren't all that unique. Just try all the million, non-Word approved medical terms.

This post was a little self-evident.

Anonymous said...

Yeah it pretty much sucked. I would caution that if you don't have something interesting to write about, don't feel the need to invent posts and write about something just for the sake of making a post.

IceFisher said...

Yeah, I get this problem all the time in engineering.

Anonymous said...

Noob is another good one.

Like in "that guy is such a pro, but his brother is such a noob!"

Oh. No. Wait. That one is all me.

Anonymous said...

"As a philosophy major in college, we were always making up words . . . " I thought you were a grammarian.

Anonymous said...

It seems she's taken our advice and is hopefully waiting for something newsworthy / interesting to post about.

Father Muskrat said...

I've also found that a word I frequently use in legal correspondence is not recognized: fucktard.

Phaedrus said...

I know, I ran across this problem typing the homecoming cheers: "Appellant, Appellee, let's do it doggie!"

Anonymous said...

It is improper to end a sentence with a preposition.

Anonymous said...

It is improper to end a sentence with a preposition.

Anonymous said...

New post, please.

Shannon said...

I hate when Word does that! I am so conditioned to thinking that every little squiggly underlined word in Word is a misspelling that I often go scrambling for the legal dictionary to figure out the proper spelling.
Sure, this isn't "news" to a lot of you, but it is curious nonetheless. It's interesting to me that Word's "features" which are supposed to empower us recognize and correct our own mistakes actually undermine our own confidence in our abilities to do so.
I don't think she was trying to say that this is something unique to the legal profession. I think she simply noticed it, and commented on it.
To me, this IS interesting and I am sorry that Sharon has to endure the ridicule of the jerks who can't just let her have a random thought without attacking its "newsworthiness." It appears that some of you only read this blog just so you can attack it. Are your lives really that empty? Geez!

Anonymous said...

Just added delictual, dispositive and liberative to my personal dictionary in Word. Although practicing law in Louisiana, I think we have more "made up" words than most other lawyers...

Anonymous said...

dumbest post you've done

Pav said...

"Pav"... yet to be officially accepted into the lexicon. Surprising, considering its depth and versatility.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if I saw the update for Word or Wordperfect, but at some point I came across a download that would update your wordprocessor's dictionary to include common terms for your particular profession. I remember Law and Medicine, and I'm sure there are others. As with most computer software, I believe it had to be purchased. Maybe there's a free cnet download, though.

Also, when admitted to the bar, I was constantly referred to as a new admittee. "Admittee" is not, in point of fact, a word. It's easy to get around, ie. "admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 2008" as opposed to "2008 Alabama State Bar admittee." On the other hand, I felt like the aforementioned "fucktard" for going out of my way not to say "admittee."