Judges and dictionaries/Richter und Wörterbücher

Adam Liptak in the New York Times:
In a decision last week in a patent case, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. puzzled out the meaning of a federal law by consulting the usual legal materials — and five dictionaries. One of the words he looked up was “of.” He learned that it means pretty much what you think it means. In May alone, the justices cited dictionaries in eight cases to determine what legislators had meant when they used words like “prevent,” “delay” and “report.” Over the years, justices have looked up both perfectly ordinary words (“now,” “also,” “any,” “if”) and ones you might think they would know better than the next guy (“attorney,” “common law”). All of this is, lexicographers say, sort of strange.
You're not kidding. German judges are funny with dictionaries too, especially with the Dietl law dictionary EN>DE ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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