The Supreme Court has decided FCC v. AT&T, the most recent case in which I filed an amicus brief, which I wrote about here. The issue in the case is whether corporations are protected by the “personal privacy” exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act, and the Court unanimously ruled that (as my brief had argued) they are not. The decision is available here.
In my unbiased opinion, the opinion was influenced by the brief in several respects.
From The Oxford Guide to Practical Lexicography, by Sue Atkins and Michael Rundell:
Most people would agree that words have meanings, sometimes multiple meanings. But meanings and dictionary senses aren’t the same thing at all. Meanings exist in infinite numbers of discrete communicative events, while the senses in a dictionary represent lexicographers’ attempts to impose some order on this babel. We do this by making generalizations (or abstractions) from the mass of available language data. These generalizations aim to make explicit the meaning distinctions which—in normal communication—humans deal with unconsciously and effortlessly. As such, the “senses” we describe do not have (and do not claim) any special status as “authoritative” statements about language.
I didn’t intend for the first substantive post here to be devoted to shameless self-promotion, but it’s not every day that a Supreme Court justice gives you a shout-out during an oral argument.
Posted in "personal", Corpus linguistics & lexicography, FCC v. AT&T, Ginsburg, Law, Law and corpus linguistics, Law and linguistics, Roberts, Self-promotion, Statutory interpretation, Words & phrases