Via a post on The Faculty Lounge I came across an interesting new book called "Lawtalk: The Stories Behind Familiar Legal Expressions." The authors of the book are James E. Clapp, Elizabeth G. Thornburg, Marc Galanter and Fred R. Shapiro. As described on Amazon, Law-related words and phrases abound in our everyday language, often without our being aware of their origins or their particular legal significance: boilerplate, jailbait, pound of flesh, rainmaker, the third degree. This insightful and entertaining book reveals the unknown stories behind familiar legal expressions that come from sources as diverse as Shakespeare, vaudeville, and Dr. Seuss. ... Skimming the Table of Contents, I selected several phrases to learn their origins, including: "Affirmative action": First used in President Kennedy's Executive Order 10925 in 1961, which requires federal contractors to "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin." "Lawtalk" credits the phrase to Houston businessman Hobart Taylor Jr., who drafted the executive order. Taylor says he chose the phrase "affirmative action" over alternatives such as "positive action" because "it was alliterative." "One bite at the apple": This expression was originally...

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