April 21, 2004


Ah, let them reuse the aircraft carrier graphic, Patrick. It's never going to see the light of day anyway: the only question is how many billions will be spent on the whole boondoggle first.

Posted by BruceR at 01:23 PM


I may not like civilian attorneys-general and solicitors-general (and postmasters-general, for that matter) being addressed as "General" personally, but it's hard to see the lexicographical argument why they shouldn't.

Easterbrook argues that "general" is just a modifier, in the sense of "non-specific", and is not intended to connote rank. He is apparently unaware that, in the case of military rank, that is the case as well. Because you see "General", the military rank, is really an abbreviation of the 15th-16th century term "Captain-General", meaning senior of all the king's captains, in the same way that "Attorney-General" is the senior of all royal attorneys. (Both terms arose around the same time, and it's hard to say which came first, but "General" only began being used by as a stand-alone word designating a specific rank around 1700, over 200 years after Britain's first "attorney-general" was appointed.

So at the very least Easterbrook's counterexample "Central Tenet" makes no sense. The better argument would be to ask why we do not refer to General Annan of the United Nations.

Posted by BruceR at 12:52 PM