October 20, 2005

Nitpicking November Legal Affairs

by PG

Having been so generous as to give a free copy of their latest issue to every student in the law school, Legal Affairs must have been prepared for getting more silly criticisms than usual. In editor/ president Lincoln Caplan's page 1 article, Litmus Tests, he asserts in the final paragraph, "Every Supreme Court justice was a former federal appellate judge when Roberts went before the Senate to become chief justice."

If we assume that Sandra Day O'Connor is still a Supreme Court justice, this is not accurate. According to the Cornell SCOTUS website, O'Connor's judicial career was as follows:

Elected judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court, Phoenix, Arizona. and served from 1975 to 1979. Appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals by Governor Bruce Babbitt and served from 1979 to 1981. Nominated by President Reagan as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on July 7, 1981; confirmed by the United States Senate on September 22, 1981; and took oath of office on September 25, 1981.
At least Caplan gets his punctuation right, knowing that a singular noun is made possessive with an apostrophe and s, even when that noun already ends with an s. (And there is not an exemption for those who claim to be using British style.) In particular, I'm annoyed to see that massive media conglomerates can't even use their size to their benefit by making punctuation uniform. This Slate piece by Henry Blodget gets it wrong every time, but over in the righthand sidebar, the Washington Post headline "Senators Assail Miers's Replies, Ask for Details" is perfect.

October 20, 2005 05:23 PM | TrackBack
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