Date: Fri, 7 Apr 1995 13:21:58 -0400 From: ALICE FABER Subject: Re: Royal I Larry Horn writes: 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.) ----------------------------- Come on, as a non lawyer linguist, I can restate the issue as: Was Fung lying in saying "I did X" when in fact it was a trainee under his supervision who did X? All the speech act/implicature stuff that I remember (and I will happily defer to Larry on this) suggests that this was something nefarious: If having a trainee do this evidence collection is normal, why wasn't it mentioned previously? Alice Faber Faber[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]