The Street Language of the Courthouse

Mo-Urban-Dictionary-Ridonkulous-Street-Slang-Defined“We was in Agree-ence” the man standing pro se before the Court Commissioner says, as he tries to explain why he has not returned the child of which he seeks “custodie” to the child’s mother. That is how “custody” is spelled in his pleadings.

Being a lawyer means one is a wordsmith, and at times the use of the language by the common folk who cross my path at the courthouse leaves me concerned for the future of English.

Usually, but not exclusively, this is the language of the paternity calendar. Members of the bench are having to resort to a reference book to bring their vocabulary a place where those of the paternity calendar can understand the order.

Alas, when I tried to look up “Court Order” in a slang translator I found no matches. This left me concerned about more than the future of the language.

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