Catty Remarks About Animal Correctness
47 J. Legal Educ. 433 (1997)
This article appeared in the Journal of Legal Education in the "On the Lighter Side" department. In one sense it is a bit of humor writing about the politics of word choice, but on another level it is actually an exploration of a hermeneutic problem -- does an expression mean anything without a listener to hear it and interpret it?
It must have been a serious piece of work because it was even cited in a law review article! See Ronald J. Krotoszynski, Jr., Commentary, Legal Scholarship at the Crossroads: on Farce, Tragedy, and Redemption, 77 Tex. L. Rev. 321, 328 fn. 23 (1998) (citing the Catty Remarks article as an example of “humor” (quotation marks in the original) in the Journal of Legal Education).
The piece starts out like this: I belong to the LAWPROF Internet list. Recently someone posted a message to the list relating an incident in his class. He had used the saying "There is more than one way to skin a cat" and had deeply offended one of his students, a cat owner who found the idea of a cat being skinned too horrific to contemplate. After a smattering of exchanges on the subject, I interjected a post which I present here in a beefed-up version.
To download the full article in PDF format, (formatted by Westlaw with star pagination to the original journal) click here.