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This week's theme
Terms from law

This week's words
curtilage
vis major
barratry
res gestae
novation

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  • A.Word.A.Day
    with Anu Garg

    "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." While there's truth in Plato's words, most of us fall somewhere between good and bad. And for people in that spectrum, laws serve as good deterrents.

    Like any other profession, the world of law has its own jargon. Even though legal terms may seem designed to keep laypersons in the dark so that the lawyers can charge hefty fees, there's a need for them. In a field where a single word can make a world of difference, a succinct, and more importantly, unambiguous vocabulary is essential.

    May you never have to consult a lawyer (or a barrister, solicitor, attorney, advocate, or whatever they are called in your land), but it's good to know some of the legal jargon. This week we'll summons five of these terms to AWAD.

    curtilage

    PRONUNCIATION:
    (KUR-til-ij)

    MEANING:
    noun: An area of land encompassing a dwelling and its surrounding yard, considered as enclosed whether fenced or not.

    ETYMOLOGY:
    From Old French courtillage, from courtil (garden), from cort (court). Ultimately from the Indo-European root gher- (to enclose or grasp) that is also the source of such words as orchard, kindergarten, French jardin (garden), court, choir, courteous, Hindi gherna (to surround), yard, and horticulture.

    USAGE:
    "Obtaining a licence to step out beyond the curtilage of the site was critical to the feasibility of this concept."
    Rob Gregory; 10 Hills Place; Architects' Journal (London, UK); Sep 10, 2009.

    See more usage examples of curtilage in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
    The first symptom of love in a young man is timidity; in a girl boldness. -Victor Hugo, poet, novelist and dramatist (1802-1885)

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