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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
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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

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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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#23377 - 03/19/01 11:06 AM Re: Th'excluded middle
maverick Offline
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Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
beyond a reasonable doubt (99% ish?)

... unless the defendant's black with a Texas public defense lawyer...?

(in which circumstances the righteousness of his case becomes at last sheer wrongeousness of his conviction)


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#23378 - 03/19/01 12:31 PM Re: Not Guilty isn't Innocent
wow Offline
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Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
Dear Sparteye, Thank you for that explanation.
It's a concept many reporters and editors never grasp. Makes me grind my teeth in frustration when the terms are used interchangeably. The general public may be forgiven but Editors should know better!
wow


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#23379 - 03/19/01 12:52 PM Re: wrongeousness: Nemmine all that
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
How's it pronounced? wrong-ghee-us-ness? wron-ghee-us-ness? wron-jee-us-ness? wrong-jee-us-ness? wrong-jus-ness? wron-jus-ness?

The proverbial inquiring minds, etc...

And what does Wronskian mean?


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#23380 - 03/19/01 01:52 PM Re: wrongeousness: Nemmine all that
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
>how's it pronounced?

well, as it's in all probability a nonce-word (*and a hapax), and since DHL is still dead, I think you can pretty much decide for yourself.


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#23381 - 03/19/01 09:18 PM Re:Apposite opposites
Scribbler Offline
journeyman

Registered: 01/21/01
Posts: 86
Loc: Utopia, not in literal sense, ...
Earlier today, the discussion focused briefly on creative writing, negating negatives, and apposite opposites. Tennyson's creative writing instructors (if ever he was so blessed) would probably have taught him of rhetorical figures w/ long, forgettable Greek names (including one or more - I once knew some of these- for "apposite opposites" tsuwm?) Whatever its origin, he created a string of apposite opposites that are forever etched in my mind, to wit: speaking, in Idylls of the King, of Lancelot, "his honor rooted in dishonor stood,"
"And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true." Rather creative, that. ....

Next point, on "th' Excluded Middle",, later in the Post, concur completely w/ Justice Spartye (well, except for the bit about Spartans going somewhere - "Timeo Danaae, dona ferentis" I fear Greeks bearing basketballs) but she certainly knows her law. The "Not Guilty" = "Innocent" misconception wants correcting. For a start, print her post on the front page of the NY Times (The MICHIGAN Law Review has more prestige, but it doesn't have the circulation). Nicely done - again - Sparteye.


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#23382 - 03/20/01 02:09 AM Re:Apposite opposites
Capital Kiwi Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 3146
Loc: Northamptonshire, England
I dnn't ever remember, even from the labyrinthine American court system, a verdict of "innocent" being handed down. Assuming that I'm right, does this mean that the courts, 10 times out of 10, fail to find that the defendant was completely innocent and shouldn't even have been charged?

Here, as far as I'm aware, we only have "guilty" and "not guilty". Whether or not innocent's a legal term I have no idea. Hang on, I'll ask my legally qualified spouse ... no it's not. Usually in NZ courts, if it becomes clear that the defendant couldn't have committed the crime the judge stops the trial and throws the case out. Since most judges appear to value their jobs, they clearly don't do this very often. Usually the trial proceeds to its bitter end, and either "guilty" or "not guilty" is handed down as a verdict. And "not guilty" can mean either "not proven" as in the Scottish system, or "innocent".

So the legalistic definition of "not guilty" is applied equally to those who really are innocent and those who have a better lawyer than the prosecutor but have committed the crime.

Seems to me, then, that the reporters are reasonably justified in using "not guilty" and "innocent" interchangeably if only because there will always be doubt about the exact, non-legal, meaning of "not guilty" when it's applied to a particular defendant in a particular case.

Well, that's my tuppence worth, anyway.




_________________________
The idiot also known as Capfka ...

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#23383 - 03/20/01 03:54 AM Not guilty vs innocent
NicholasW Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 393
Loc: London
I have no knowledge of the law, but my lay understanding was that English law has two verdicts, guilty and not guilty. In Scottish law, a form of Roman law, there are three verdicts, guilty, not proven, and innocent. The Romans themselves said either ignoramus 'we do not know' or non liquet 'it is not clear' for the middle term -- I don't know which of those was the correct legal term.

I would have thought that the law of Australia, NZ, 49 US states, and 9 Canadian provinces was English common law: the exceptions being the Roman law of Quebec and Louisiana.

Repeating the disclaimer, this was my purely linguistic and unconfirmed udnerstanding of the difference.


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#23384 - 03/20/01 04:01 AM wrongousness
NicholasW Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 393
Loc: London
'Wrongeous' is a misspelling by false analogy with 'righteous' and 'timeous', but the word 'wrongous' exists. It sounds to me like an old term of law, as 'timeous' itself is. Chambers's (the only reference I have to hand) gives the pronunciation as -ng- or -ngg-.


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#23385 - 03/20/01 04:08 AM Re: wrongousness
Capital Kiwi Offline
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Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 3146
Loc: Northamptonshire, England
Wrongous is given with two meanings in the COD:

1. Wrongful
2. (Legal) Unjust, illegal

There is also the adverbial form (wrongously).

But no usage examples given.

_________________________
The idiot also known as Capfka ...

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#23386 - 03/20/01 05:05 AM And yet, and yet...
shanks Offline
old hand

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

Thanks for that explanation. But doesn't it seem to support my case? Legally speaking, once a court has returned a verdict of 'not guilty', the defendant is innocent of the crime. The defendant may not have proven, or demonstrated it - that would be a misrepresentation of the facts - but certainly has the right to claim innocence, as evidenced by the criminal court. Or not?

Given which, I find the civil court system a bit bizarre. I can appreciate that the prepondernace of evidence can be taken into account for a civil case like, say, land rights. But how can damages from a criminal case be decided by a civil court without reference to the verdict of the criminal case. OJ Simpson may, for all I know, have committed murder. However the criminal justice system, for all its flaws, determined him not guilty. How, then, could a civil court find him guilty? Surely a claim for damages should only be allowed in the court if there is a criminal verdict of guilt. Anything else seems to me to be an unfair trial by media cum double jeopardy. But then, I've never understood the American penchant for litigation.

cheer

the sunshine warrior


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#23387 - 03/20/01 08:12 AM Re: wrongeousness: Nemmine all that
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
And what does Wronskian mean?

It's a math thing. It is the determinant of a matrix made up of the 0th to (n-1)th derivatives of a set of functions f1(x), f2(x),...fn(x), arranged as the rows of the matrix (ie. row 1 has the functions, row 2 has the first derivatives, row 3 has the second derivatives, etc.)


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#23388 - 03/20/01 09:04 AM Re: And yet, and yet...
Sparteye Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1773
Dear Shanks:

"Not guilty" and "innocent" are not the same - that's my point. "Innocent" means "he didn't do it." "Not guilty" means "it wasn't proved." To my knowledge, there is no "innocent" verdict available in the US.

The criminal justice system is concerned with adjudicating guilt (or not) for the purpose of imposing criminal sanctions. It does not address a person's reputation in the community, and does not concern itself with related civil matters.

A subsequent civil proceeding arising out of the same matter which resulted in a criminal trial does not pose a double jeopardy issue. Constitutional double jeopardy restrictions apply only to the government and its attempt to try or punish a defendant more than once for the same offense. What private parties do is not the concern of double jeopardy jurisprudence. (In fact, the constitution in general concerns itself only with the powers and limitations of the government; it does not regulate private conduct, but only protects it.)

Imagine that you entered into a partnership with another man for the purpose of developing a large real estate holding. The man convinced you to invest your life savings to buy the land and fund the beginning of construction, in part based upon a portfolio of prior developments he presented to you, all of which he assured you were highly profitable. Imagine that the man even presented you with supporting financial documentation of the prior developments to convince you to invest. Now imagine that the man - who never intended to build anything and who falsified every document and reference you saw and who intended to fleece you from the beginning - takes every penny of the investment and bolts to places unknown, leaving you with nothing but a land purchase now heavily mortgaged under your name by use of forgery.

Now let's imagine that the prosecutor issues criminal charges against the man, for fraud, embezzlement and forgery, and they find him and bring him before the court. Even assuming that the prosecutor can get a conviction (tough, since the man, using all your money, can afford Big Gun defense counsel), where does that leave you? Upon conviction, the man is subject to criminal sanctions, by way of imprisonment, a fine payable to the state, or probation. You are left with a big mortgage and no money. That's when you bring suit against him to reclaim all your assets. Do you not think it right that you can go after him for the return of your money? What if the defendant was acquitted of some or all of the charges in the criminal case? Maybe the prosecutor was incompetent, maybe the jury was stupid, but somehow, the jury was convinced that investment was legitimate and you lost your share of the money to an incompetent but not criminal partner who only took money owed to him for services rendered. Remember, the criminal trial burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, so it only takes a partial belief in the defense to defeat the charges. Should you now be precluded from showing your claim under the ordinary civil standards of a preponderance of the evidence? No. Acquittal in a criminal trial does not preclude civil suit.

BTW, under certain circumstances, the opposite can apply: an establishment of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt can establish the underlying facts for the purpose of a subsequent civil trial.
______

Scribbler: thank you for your comments. I like the "Beware of Greeks bearing basketballs" concept.

Now spill: where are you and for whom are you rooting?

GO SPARTANS!



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#23389 - 03/20/01 09:29 AM Going under for the third time
shanks Offline
old hand

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

This is all getting too much for me. Let me try to elucidate my confusion.

Firstly, as I see it, there are two separate issues:

1. What the law says and does
2. What our morality says and does.

As for 1., I understand that in US law (as in most) the presumption of innocence applies. Therefore, if someone achieves a verdict of Not Guilty in court, by law that person is presumed innocent? Remember I am only talking about the legal issue here. In this case, of course, there would be no need for a jury verdict of 'innocent' - that is presumed, and can only be overturned by a jury verdict of Guilty.

Next, from the point of view, IMO, of morality, rather than the law, if there is a civil suit, as per your example of the guy who ran off with my mortgage, the two issues are quite different. If he did not fulfil a contract - I have the right to sue him in the civil courts, and they will base their judgement (at least in the UK) upon a reasonable interpretation of the contract, and an examination of both parties' actions in the matter of that contract. If, on the other hand, he committed criminal offences, he should be prosecuted under those and (I don't know if this applies under UK law, but by heck it should) if found guilty, part of the sentencing should simply include restitution to the damaged parties. An extra civil case to establish this only clogs up the courts. Basically, your example seems to me to conflate two different issues - a civil issue (which has to do with contract law), and a criminal issue which would/should be prosecuted in any case. If one can be hauled to the courts twice, on the same matter, then to my mind it is a form of double jeopardy. If OJ was hauled to the courts twice for the same matter - the killing of Nicole - except that in one case the opposing lawyers sought money instead of criminal sanctions, then it appears to me that this is 'wrong'. If OJ had violated some contract he had engaged in with Nicole, and that was in dispute in the civil courts, then fair enough. If, on the other hand, as far as the courts were concerned he had to be presumed innocent of her murder, then a civil case based upon compensation for her murder should never have reached the courts.

At least, that's the state my muddled thinking has left me in. But do you see why I'm still going "but - but...">

cheer

the sunshine warrior


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#23390 - 03/20/01 10:09 AM Re: Going under for the third time
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
If OJ had violated some contract he had engaged in with Nicole, and that was in dispute in the civil courts, then fair enough.

Marriage is a contract. At least as I understand it.

Perhaps we'd have fewer diviorces if the contracting partners took notice of that before entering into "the marriage contract."
wow


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#23391 - 03/20/01 10:47 AM Re: Going under for the third time
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
Marriage is a contract. At least as I understand it.

Mmmm...yes... But, in civil terms, what part of the contract had he violated that they were suing him for?



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#23392 - 03/20/01 11:05 AM Re: And yet, and yet...
Scribbler Offline
journeyman

Registered: 01/21/01
Posts: 86
Loc: Utopia, not in literal sense, ...
Dear Sparteye - 1. As we have noticed, Shanks is a very, very bright person who asks good Qs. The Guilty/Not Guilty concept is very difficult for lay persons (seeking to avoid sexist words), but you have done an excellent job of explaining. We'll get an honorary law degree for Shanks yet. Would it help him to explain that it is the function of (choose one or more) God, individual conscience, Religion and its functionaries,and, in a certain sense, the General Public (in its collective "mind") to determine "Innocence". Courts do not seek to address that issue. Criminal courts determine, using a particular set of rules, whether a defendant must pay a penalty to the STATE, the community at large. Defendant is charged w/ speeding, careless driving and DUI. The issue is simply Guilty (D receives the punishment) or Not Guilty (D does not receive the punishment.) There may be civil issues arising generally out of the same set of circumstances upon which the criminal action was based. In the example, D the allegedly speeding etc driver, crashes into P's car, damages car and injures P. P may seek recovery in a civil action. The civil courts have some different rules, often very similar to those of criminal courts, but still different. The issue here, is NOT whether D is Guilty/NotGuilty,(or Innocent vel non) but whether (pause for emphasis, this is the whole point) D is LIABLE to P. Civil courts determine LIABILITY, whether or not D must redress P. To get the concept, one must "render unto Caesar, what is Caesar's. etc." For simplicity, let's say that God determines Innocence, criminal courts determine whether an accused is Guilty or Not Guilty and civil courts determine liability, whether or nay D must redress P. The system works, most of the time.
2. "Greeks bearing basketballs" A more "Tobasco" translation had occurred to me, but I thought I would give wwh first shot at it. Dr. Bill?
3. March madness- No dog in this hunt- My Commodores have not been very competitive since I was in Law School some DECADES ago. I'll cheer for SEC. Go, Kentucky and veeeeeeeeery long shot, Rebels.


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#207019 - 09/07/12 01:32 AM Re: Th'excluded middle [Re: paulb]
Cobbett Offline
stranger

Registered: 09/07/12
Posts: 1
It could be a sound problem. It might have worked if he had spelled it wrongteousness.

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