Calculated

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Calculated” is a flannelish word which, in the mouth of a lawyer, means “likely to have a certain effect”. It does not imply any intention on the event’s author to bring that effect about.

Brownlow lent imperceptibly forward, whereupon a rambunctious flatulence issued into the after-dinner stillness. Then he collapsed back into his chair with a beatific expression on his face, a capitulation calculated to outrage those present — at least, those not scrabbling at their neck-ties, gasping for oxygen.

To my inexperienced forensic brain, in my first criminal law tutorial in 1988, I felt “calculated” implies some calculation — some wantonness; a degree of design, an intention on the part of the author. I said so, stridently, and refused to back down. Though it was hardly calculated to endear me to my tutor (a dull enough chap, but made magnitudes duller seeing as he was the spitting image of my hero Mel Smith, so his absent sense of humour was a constant source of disappointment) I remain to this day unrepentant. I am right; the global legal community is wrong, and that is all there is to it.

Historical note: I failed my criminal law course in 1989.

Miserable old fart.[1]


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References

  1. I should say, “issuer of rambunctious flatulence”.