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#23367 - 03/18/01 04:41 AM wrongeousness
paulb Offline
addict

Registered: 03/17/00
Posts: 460
Loc: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Another quote from D H Lawrence's Kangaroo (which I've just finished reading):

"The heroic effort to carry out the old righteousness becomes at last sheer wrongeousness." (p. 348)

So what other word could he have used?


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#23368 - 03/18/01 11:02 AM Re: wrongeousness
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
well, not to put too fine a point on it, unrighteousness.


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#23369 - 03/18/01 12:21 PM Re: wrongeousness
wordcrazy Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/26/01
Posts: 275
paulb>
Another quote from D H Lawrence's Kangaroo (which I've just finished reading):
"The heroic effort to carry out the old righteousness becomes at last sheer wrongeousness." (p. 348)
So what other word could he have used?


Now I have heard (make that read) everything! I cannot believe he said that! D.H.LAWRENCE?

I wonder if "wrongheadedness" crossed his mind and he thought "Nah, too common, wrongeousness is uglier, it will surely elicit a comment or two"





chronist

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#23370 - 03/19/01 12:17 AM Re: wrongeousness
Bingley Offline
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Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
I think wrongeousness was just a joke, not a serious coinage.

Bingley
_________________________
Bingley

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#23371 - 03/19/01 10:04 AM Re: wrongeousness
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
Think you are right, Bingley. But there is a serious pont underlying it - Tsuwm, I reckon defining something by its invert does not adduce a positive quality: eg, 'unsmooth' does not speak the same thought as 'rough'. Is there an alternative?


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#23372 - 03/19/01 10:23 AM apposite opposites
Sparteye Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1773
In reply to:

I reckon defining something by its invert does not adduce a positive quality


Mav, you have struck upon an issue I must struggle with. In creative writing, I was always told to use a positive rather than negating a negative, so: "He was not unlike ..." would be "He was like ...".

[rant]
But, being not unlike something is not the same as being like something. In creative writing, you can usually find an alternative, but the nuances of the negative-negative become significant in legalese. I have had conversations with reporters who, understandably, want to avoid the negative-negative, but I try to emphasize to them that a finding of "not guilty" is NOT THE SAME as a finding of "innocent." One reporter said, "oh, yes it is," leaving me to explain the differences in burdens of proof and to wonder if he'd had high school civics.

I would prefer to avoid the negative-negative, but it can't always be done if you want to be accurate.
[/rant]

Thank you for listening. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.



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#23373 - 03/19/01 10:23 AM Re: wrongeousness
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
in spite of my silly grin, unrighteousness is a real word:

unrighteous adj.
1. Not righteous; evil; wicked; sinful; as, an unrighteous man.
2. Contrary to law and equity; unjust; as, an unrighteous decree or sentence.
un·righteous·ness n.

...certainly to be preferred over wrongeousness (an obvious nonce word :).


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#23374 - 03/19/01 10:38 AM Th'excluded middle
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
Sparteye

I appreciate your rant in general, since it is often a major plank of fallacious arguments that they use the excluded middle (assuming the negative-negative is identical to the positive such that there is not middle ground), but I wonder how appropriate it is in the particular circumstance you have outlined. My understanding was that, given the 'innocent unless proven guilty' nature of our justice systems, by law, a verdict of not guilty was to be considered equivalent to innocent. In Scotland, possibly because of some discomfort with this idea, they have a third type of verdict the jury can hand down - not proven. (Imagine walking out of court with that hanging over your head: "They knows it was 'im as done it, but they can't not prove it on 'im nor 'ow hard they try, so the guilty fekker is walkin' free down the road as you or I")

My background, however, is not in the legal profession and I would love to be taught more about the issue you discuss. [invitation to post emoticon]

cheer

the sunshine warrior


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#23375 - 03/19/01 10:43 AM Re: wrongeousness
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Sparteye is correct!
In spite of the def.'s listed by tsuwm, UNrighteous is not the the same as NOT righteous. Using the number line again as a ref., unrighteous carries the implication that the action was confined to the negative side only: that is, actively "evil; wicked; sinful".
Not righteous, to my way of thinking, can signify behavior that is at the zero mark, or neutral--not actively good, NOR
actively bad.
I don't think the term not righteous is called for very often, but it has its place, and should not be equated with unrighteous.

EDIT: Well, shanks, you snuck in and posted ahead of me.
Yer gonna have to show me how my "plank" is "fallacious".

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#23376 - 03/19/01 11:00 AM Re: Th'excluded middle
Sparteye Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1773
A verdict of "not guilty" is rendered in American courts when the judge or jury (some defendants waive their right to a jury trial and are tried by the judge) concludes that the prosecutor has not sustained his burden of proof. That burden of proof requires a showing of every element of the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt. The presumption of innocence is a legal presumption which entitles the defendant to require the prosecutor to meet the stringent standard of proof. It is not a factual determination of innocence, but a standard of legal innocence.

Occasionally, a judge or jury really does conclude that the defendant didn't do it; but I venture to say that most (90+%?) of the time, a not guilty verdict is the result of the failure to establish guilt by the requisite amount of evidence. Defendants who claim they have shown their innocence are practicing spin control.

In a civil case, the plaintiff's burden of proof is typically that of "preponderance of the evidence," a much lesser standard. That's why you can have a criminal case with a not guilty verdict but a civil case out of the same circumstance which imposes liability. OJ Simpson was not innocent, he was not guilty; and in the civil trial, he was liable.

Various burdens of proof range from preponderance of the evidence (ie, more evidence for the proposition than against it -> 51% ish?) to clear and convincing evidence (80%ish?) to beyond a reasonable doubt (99% ish?).


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