Date: Thu, 6 Apr 1995 22:37:53 EDT From: Larry Horn Subject: Re: "the royal I" ??????????? Bethany writes: >I realize that my J.D. degree disqualifies me for a discussion of >the extent to which lawyers are full of you-know-what; nonetheless, I >want to comment on Bob Wachal's comment on Jack Ford, whose >comment I did NOT hear. I don't know the context in which Fod >apparently included an underling's actions in the word "I," but >the usage seems unexceptionable to me. Lawyers, like some >other people -- i.e., corporate executives -- are responsible often >both for acts they commit and also acts that they have office staff >commit. I can even imagine saying "I did thus-and-so" when I actually >had a research assistant do part of thus-and-so. Or am I missing the >point, Bob? I'm pretty sure I saw the NBC Nightly News in question, and it wasn't Ford's own use of "I" that was at issue, but his discussing (in his role of highly- paid legal Simpsonian poobah) the use of "I" by one of the medical examiners (Fung?) to describe the collection of material (blood) by an underling who was evidently a novice. If I'm remembering correctly, it was the novitiate status of this woman that led to a lively exchange in which Johnnie Cochran dismissed her as a "rookie", the prosecution objected to that as a slur, and Judge Ito reminded everyone that some rookies have been MVP's (as opposed to MOP's) in their rookie year (thinking, perhaps, of Vida Blue or Fred Lynn, although he wasn't asked for the exact precedents). I better stop before someone asks me to move it all to the forensic.lx list. --Larry P.S. Oh, I forgot. The point. This would not constitute a royal "I" so much as an "I" of concealment, hoping to get away with a possible misjudgment of allowing a rookie, or novice, underling to (mis?)handle evidence in the trial of the century. The royal "I" per se is more like a scientist using a first person singular in appropriating the work of junior colleagues and graduate students, I'd think. (Apocryphal as such tales always are.)