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lewd and lascivious

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lewd and lascivious

Postby William Hupy » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:25 am

You get two words for the price of one. This is SO lawyer-like to use two words when one will do. I am certain there is a subtle difference between the two, but I do not know what it is. I am also certain the origin of both will prove to be fascinating.
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Re: lewd and lascivious

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:25 pm

More years ago than I have been alive, I worked in a CA welfare department a couple of years and read various laws. I remembr my amusement over the list of synonyms in many of them, esp for cohabitation. (It didn't include 'shacking up,' at least per se.) Most of those lists seem to come from court decisions that turned on defining of similar words. If, for example, the law declares agains lascivious acts, and the defense claims the acts in question were merely lewd, their client may get off. Consequently, in writing law they often include strings of synonyms to protect their intentions. Do any lawyers or lawmakers out there agree or want to clarify?
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Re: lewd and lascivious

Postby William Hupy » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:33 pm

Perry, that is irrelevant, immaterial and incompetent. Just teasing. Lawyers are inclined for groups of three as in the example noted. A parcel of land is not just sold, it is conveyed, transferred and alienated - or use any three words you wish to "convey" the same meaning. It may have come from the practical considerations of covering all bases and contingencies, but I like to think it is also more poetic. Think of the many expressions we have that come in threes: wine, women and song; lock, stock and barrel; ifs, ands and buts; tic tac toe.
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Re: lewd and lascivious

Postby Slava » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:00 pm

Speaking of things in threes, how about Tom Lehrer's "Smut"?

Lurid, licentious, and vile.

It even matches the original topic.
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Re: lewd and lascivious

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:08 pm

The laws I was reading back then often had more than three, even six or eight. To make sense i had to take one meaning and skip the the next train of thought.
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Re: lewd and lascivious

Postby William Hupy » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:45 pm

Slava wrote:Speaking of things in threes, how about Tom Lehrer's "Smut"?

Lurid, licentious, and vile.

It even matches the original topic.


Excellent!
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Re: lewd and lascivious

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:21 pm

Slava: I wasn't aware of Tom Lehrer's "Smut" until I Googled it.
It is lurid, licentious, and vile. Think of another synonym that begins with an l and put it in the place of vile. Then you will have alliterative smut. I like alliteration but am cautious about smut. How about the actor on "Two and a Half Men" who has denounced as smut the program he helped make popular? It may or may not be smut (I have never watched a full episode), but it is vapid and inane. If I were that actor on the program who went nuts, I might have gone nuts myself.
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