Articles Tagged with Legal dictionaries

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As is the case for any vocation or avocation, the law is filled with Words that make us go huh! in the night (but not with this huh and surely not to be confused with d’oh, unless you use the Word incorrectly while speaking to a judge in a crowded courtroom).

We’re not talking about those legal Latin words and phrases that can make even (especially) legal writing gurus, who usually favor plain speaking and writing, roll their eyes.

There are many law dictionaries in the wide world of the web and there is a new edition of Black’s Law Dictionary on the horizon (the 9th, to be precise, though I sincerely doubt it will have the impact of Beethoven’s 9th symphony).

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The Oregon Judicial Department’s (OJD) 2002 Style Manual specifies the Webster’s Third International New International Dictionary (unabridged ed. 2002) as the court’s “official” (non-legal) dictionary. (Many, possibly all, state appellate courts specify an official dictionary.)

If you do a little research, however, you will find that the 2002 print edition of this dictionary is the same as the 1993 edition, page for page, with the addition of an updated addendum.

You will also find that this dictionary is online, but at a cost – and part of a whole family of the publisher’s dictionaries. If you work for the State of Oregon, you may have access to the online version as part of the state’s subscription plan, which many State employees can use. Your public library may also subscribe to it.

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Today’s print Oregonian story, The definition of service animals grows to include animals that provide companionship to their owners, by Andy Dworkin (The Oregonian, Tuesday October 28, 2008) reminded me that I hadn’t yet posted this blog-post I’ve been working on.

(Most blog-posts don’t appear out of the blue on a whim; most are the result of, sometimes, a lengthy thinking and writing deliberative process – how dull that sounds. But it’s not!)

In any event, we’ve had a rash (a litter?) of dog-law questions lately (except not too many shaggy dog ones), not just in my county but from around the state. So, let’s try a little educational blogging for those of you who want to research the law: