A Range of Law Dictionaries

A Range of Law Dictionaries

Postby macswin » Thu May 28, 2009 4:04 pm

Here was a collection of law dictionaries but due to the controversy it has cause I respectfully withdraw the material and leave you with one article you may find interesting, unless it is censored.

FRANCHISE. , FREEMAN and FREEDOM.

Taken from “An analytical dictionary of the English Language” by David Booth, 1835


A Burgh, Burrow, or Borough, was originally a place of defence, what we now call a Walled Town; although the word Town itself (as its etymo¬logy implies) was a covered place, being surrounded with walls. In times when this country was divided into many different governments,—when every feudal chieftain, in his turn, forgot his fealty and accounted himself a king,— places of strength were multiplied, and every considerable village had its walls with Ports, (barricaded Gates,) which were kept shut and guarded, to pre¬vent surprize: while those insulated heights and rocks, which presented more natural means of defence, attracted larger masses of population, and became castles, forts, or Citadels, in the interior of the Burghs, or Cities, which they defended.
The Latin civitas, (coire, to assemble,) from which the French vité, a City, is derived, denoted a collection of people. It included no idea of being a place of strength; for it often denominated a whole nation, as well as a single town; and this distinction of original meanings appears in the derivatives from City and Burgh. City is a modern word in our language, and its application has been the subject of controversy. In general usage, however, the name of City is given only to such Burghs as are, or have been, bishops' sees. Citadel is the Italian diminutive cittadella; for, in that language, citta, a town or city, is always understood to be a place of strength.
The inhabitants of our ancient Boroughs were governed by certain laws and entitled to certain privileges, different from what belonged to the wander¬ing herdsmen, or to the scattered cultivators of the soil, who were frequently liable to a change of masters; and Boroughs are yet distinguished, from other towns and villages, by the possession of those laws and privileges which have remained while their causes no longer exist. These peculiar advantages are termed the FRANCHISES, (French,/franc, free,) or rights of a Borough or Cor¬poration, or of any individual belonging to such a body. The individual is said to be ENFRANCHISED, to be made a FREEMAN of that Body,—to have acquired his FREEDOM. The Freedom of an individual member, or even the Franchise of the Borough (or other incorporated body) itself may be lost by misconduct. The individual may be struck off from the list of citizens, or the Borough may lose one or all of its privileges by an Act of the Legislature declaring it to be DISENFRANCHISED. TO AFFRANCHISE (to make free) was formerly written in place of To Enfranchise. ENFRANCHISEMENT and DISEN-FRANCHISEMENT denote the several actions, or states of the Verbs.
The most distinguishing of the privileges of a Borough is the Elective FRANCHISE, or right to elect and send Members to the Commons House of Parliament; but this right of election varies extremely among the different Boroughs. In some cases, the Elective Franchise belongs to the resident Freemen only;—in others, to the Freemen wherever they may reside. * In some places the choice of two members is committed to as many inhabitants as every house can contain;—in others, to the possession of a spot of ground where neither houses nor inhabitants have been seen for years" In many of the incorporated Boroughs (for all have not charters of incorpo¬ration) the Mayor and a few of the Burgesses chose the Representatives; and, this being supposed to be a corruption from ancient usage, such are called ROTTEN BOROUGHS ; and those who wish to procure a general suffrage of the Freemen are the advocates of BOROUGH-REFORM. Certain Boroughs wholly the property of great landholders, called, therefore, BOROUGH-PRO¬PRIETORS, and are transferable in the market like other goods and chattels. In some cases, where the Electors are few, or where the influence or patronage is almost equally divided, bribery has been exerted, to settle the doubts of the wavering concerning the comparative merits of the Candidates:—but this is not authorized by the law of the land. Boroughs, where an independent can¬didate, without influence, has no chance of success, are called Close Boroughs; the few that are otherwise are Open Boroughs. He who buys, or sells the patronage of a Borough is a Borough-monger. Burrow is an old orthography. Burgh and Borough are written indiscriminately. The freemen of an incor¬porated Borough are called Burgesses, or Burghers; a name occasionally given to their Representatives in Parliament, although these need not now be Burgesses of the town which they represent.
The Burgesses of a City are Citizens, (of which Cit is a contemptuous contraction,) and the latter term, agreeably to its Roman/origin, is often used to denote the freemen of a state in general. The rights of a Citizen constitute his Citizenship, formerly Burgher ship; and a Fellow-citizen may be either a Townsman, or a freeman of the same nation. Citizeness, for a female Citizen, is in the vocabulary of the ultra-republicans. Civism, denoting faithfulness to the commonwealth, and Incivism, its opposite, are words that were created by the French Revolution.
In a general sense, the adjective Civil is applied to everything which regards the community as Citizens; and hence the expressions, ‘Civil government;’ 'Civil rights,’ &c. as distinct from what belongs to particular divisions of policy, such as Military government, Maritime rights, &c. In the same manner, we speak of 'Civil War,’ meaning the intestine war among the Citizens, in opposition to the quarrels between separate nations. The Civil Law is the collected Institutes of the Laws which governed the Roman Gives, or Citizens; and this Code (not that of the Republic, but a Digest, collected about 1300 years ago by the Emperor Justinian) is still studied, by the Lawyers of the present day, and referred to as the foundation of the Common Law of this country. The numerous Commentators on the Roman Laws are Civilians.


KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Those who keep it from you are despots
Last edited by macswin on Sun May 31, 2009 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Range of Law Dictionaries

Postby MikeThomas » Thu May 28, 2009 5:59 pm

Your a generous little Freeman Macswin! Thanks mate! :shake:
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Re: A Range of Law Dictionaries

Postby macswin » Thu May 28, 2009 6:10 pm

No problem! I have much more material I will post in the future.
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Re: A Range of Law Dictionaries

Postby Veronica » Thu May 28, 2009 7:24 pm

Law Dictionaries are full of Legalese, which is a deception.

They are for those who like chasing their own tails, going round in ever-decreasing circles, getting nowhere fast.
Freedom's just another word for: "Nothing left to lose" (Janis Joplin)
"There is no path to peace, peace IS the path" (Mahatma Ghandi)
"There is no path to freedom, freedom IS the path" (Veronica Chapman)
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Re: A Range of Law Dictionaries

Postby macswin » Thu May 28, 2009 9:01 pm

With all due respect, your response to my post has the appearance of being harmfully myopic. After carefully reading your article on what you call Legalese, I have to respectfully dispute with you on certain points. First you state

What, exactly, is Legalese? Well, first of all it is a language. It looks like English (in the British Isles), but it is no more "English" than is any Foreign Language. French, for example. Or German.


What you term legalese is not a separate language, rather it is an expansion of the language, which, without any contradiction, we can see in the field of medicine. For example, a simple word such as accommodation in common usage means "Room and board", but in medical terms it means "the automatic adjustment by which the eye adapts itself to distinct vision at different distances." Now from this example are we to contend that there are now three languages, English, Legalese and medicalese (for want of a better term).

I believe the argument lies in the not in the fact of legalese being a different language, but rather in our own ignorance of ever expanding meaning of words which is no one's fault but our own.

Another thing you state is:

Legalese is a Foreign Language because it re-defines the meanings of certain words


I am afraid legalese does not redefine words it expands on them. look to this link I quickly found on the definition of person.

http://dictionary.reference.com/dic?q=person&search=search

Do you see anything redefined or do you see an expanded set of usages for the word. I also point you to a post on this forum I made on the etymological root of the word person.

http://www.fmotl.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=1025

This shows the evolution of a word, and not constantly new definitions. And it must be understood that words evolve in time within different areas of life.

Now my reason for posting these dictionaries was to give people a resource on which they can dispel their own ignorance, and in my opinion ignorance is the prison of which we want to be free. You may feel dispelling ignorance is for those who like chasing their tails, but when ordinary people have to face up to the monster that is the British government and legal system it is better to be armed with knowledge than not. The courts and governments weapon of choice is language and they are very proficient at it, so why should we not have the same proficiency as them.

I have much more material on legal matters, including material on common law (already posted), statute law and it's interpretation and construction, money and banking, contracts, jurisprudence, Admiralty law. I am very happy to share them with anybody who wants them as i truly believe that knowledge is essential for it is the weapon that has been used against the common man for centuries.

hope this clears things up:)
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Re: A Range of Law Dictionaries

Postby Veronica » Thu May 28, 2009 9:12 pm

macswin wrote: hope this clears things up:)

I don't think it clears anything up.

Legalese is a Foreign Language simply by the definition that "It requires it's own, specific, dictionary". Your 'medical' example likewise.

I specifically pointed out, in that article that the word person was "expanded". That's an expansion.

The redefinition of "understand" to "stand under" is ... a re-definition + an expansion.

But you are welcome to your view. And to chasing your own tail endlessly. And eventually disappearing down a Black's Hole.
Freedom's just another word for: "Nothing left to lose" (Janis Joplin)
"There is no path to peace, peace IS the path" (Mahatma Ghandi)
"There is no path to freedom, freedom IS the path" (Veronica Chapman)
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Re: A Range of Law Dictionaries

Postby macswin » Thu May 28, 2009 11:38 pm

Sorry to disagree with you again as it is not my purpose to be contentious. You write that

Legalese is a Foreign Language simply by the definition that "It requires it's own, specific, dictionary"


I think the confusion is your understanding of what a dictionary is, Firstly. I believe you are wrong to presume that a dictionary presupposes a language, i.e. because there is a specific dictionary then there must be a specific language associated with it. And secondly that there is only one type of dictionary.

A dictionary as most people believe it to be is a chronicle of a language, which is why new words are added every year, but It is too simplistic to say that this dictionary just gives a definition of words, this is but one function of this type of dictionary. Other functions include pronunciation, etymology, inflections, etc.

Another type of dictionary can be, for example an English to Spanish Dictionary (a foreign language dictionary), where there are no definitions just the equivalent words in each language, e.g. Ignorance = Ignorancia. (this is from my English/Spanish dictionary). This is where your confusion arises from in believing that legalese replaces English and thus has its own dictionary

The type of dictionary which law dictionaries are give information on the subject of the language used in law. These are the dictionaries we find in other fields like medicine, science, mathematics, engineering, etc. They are all in English, but just because one doesn't understand the terminology does not detract from their validity or change them into some unknown language. Knowledge has grown at such an exponential rate that it is impossible for a person to be knowledgeable in all areas. the Powers-that-Be exploit this, especially when it comes to laws and the courts.
(I must refer you to the works of Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the pre-eminent philosophers of language who writes about the meaning of words within the forms of life they are used. Then you may understand my position better)

I can wholly understand your position and sympathize with it, when something appears to be one thing and is in fact another, can look like a deception and a purposeful one at that. However, The PTB just exploit one thing for their advantage, our ignorance, which was entirely the reason for posting the law dictionaries. It was meant as a resource for people here and not for the intention of getting lost in a quagmire of legal terminology. It is better to have something and not need it then to need something and not have it.

On a more personal note I am not a person who sits and reads law dictionaries all day, rather I am a person who likes to collect knowledge. Also i have been studying the philosophy of language for some years now and I teach the English Language as a profession and have learnt other languages. So language is somewhat a passion of mine, which is probably why I am writing these overly long posts.

Finally you say in your book "You are free because you say you are free. Because no-one else will say it for you" can you not see how important language is which is why it is so important to me also, because langauge lets me say I'm free

Thank you for letting me express my views as this is what one of the meanings of freedom is, as is the freedom to make condescending remarks.
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Re: A Range of Law Dictionaries

Postby Veronica » Fri May 29, 2009 7:30 am

"Expansion", from Oxford English, is fictional by definition.

(Because it cannot be anything else)

(If it were real, it would be in Oxford English)

I hope this penny will drop, one day ... before you waste too much of your time.
Freedom's just another word for: "Nothing left to lose" (Janis Joplin)
"There is no path to peace, peace IS the path" (Mahatma Ghandi)
"There is no path to freedom, freedom IS the path" (Veronica Chapman)
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Re: A Range of Law Dictionaries

Postby macswin » Fri May 29, 2009 10:46 am

Thank you for once again exercising your freedom to completely disregard my last post. I joined this forum because Britain is evolving into a despotic nation and people here recognise this fact and have a wish to change it, as I do. Now there can be several ways to do this. yours, Veronica, is one very commendable way but not the only way.

however your latest post is a rather obtuse response, but it made me laugh so I thank you for that

you state that:

"Expansion", from Oxford English, is fictional by definition.

(Because it cannot be anything else)

(If it were real, it would be in Oxford English)


Am I to assume that something is real because the oxford dictionary says it is, if so then your reality must be very strange. Your reliance on the oxford dictionary is incredible. So if it is not in the dictionary then it has no reality?

The actuality of it is that all language is fiction as you call it. the etymological root of fiction is:

"something invented," from L. fictionem (nom. fictio) "a fashioning or feigning," from fingere "to shape, form, devise, feign,"


Language has no reality as we humans do ergo all words are fictional by definition. Thus we can postulate that anything you or I say is entirely fictional. It is but a tool we use within a community to achieve some end.

A. Korzybski wrote that "the map is not the territory, i.e. the word is not the thing it represents" language is as much a fiction as the so called "person" is.

We as people must not be confused by the role of language. It is very powerful and can be very damaging and if you are going to use it as a weapon against the PTB surely then one should gain some proficiency in it. If not they will pounce on your ignorance faster than a pride of lions onto a wounded animal.

My aim is not to be antagonistic to you or your cause, rather it is to help it. Just because i disagree with you on some fundamental aspects there is really no need to condescend. The so-called penny has dropped in my case, but in yours I believe not. However i will read your book to see what truth you have ascertained on your journey towards freedom and I hope for your sake, and the people on this forum, it is rock solid. And if I am not summarily judged by you then I will offer some constructive criticism, which hopefully you do not oppose.

With respect
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Re: A Range of Law Dictionaries

Postby kevin » Fri May 29, 2009 4:10 pm

Hi macswin.

out of the 13 dictionaries you have posted which one do you think should be used? are they all exactly the same? if so why do we need so many?
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