Language

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LANGUAGE. The faculty which men possess of communicating their perceptions and ideas to one another by means of articulate sounds. This is the definition of spoken language; but ideas and perceptions may be communicated without sound by writing, and this is called written language. By conventional usage certain sounds have a definite meaning in one country or in certain countries, and this is called the language of such country or countries, as the Greek, the Latin, the French or the English language. The law, too, has a peculiar language. Vide Eunom. Dial. 2; Technical.
     2. On the subjugation of England by William the Conqueror, the French Norman language was substituted in all law proceedings for the ancient Saxon. This, according to Blackstone, vol. iii. p. 317, was the language of the records, writs and pleadings, until the time of Edward III. Mr. Stephen thinks Blackstone has fallen into an error, and says the record was, from the earliest period to which that document can be traced, in the Latin language. Plead. Appx. note 14. By the statute 36 Ed. III. st. 1, c. 15, it was enacted that for the future all pleas should be pleaded, shown, defended, answered, debated and judged in the English tongue; but be entered and enrolled in Latin. The Norman or law French, however, being more familiar as applied to the law, than any other language, the lawyers continued to employ it in making their notes of the trial of cases, which they afterwards published, in that barbarous dialect, under the name of Reports. After the enactment of this statute, on the introduction of paper pleadings, they followed in the language, as well as in other respects, the style of the records, which were drawn up in Latin. This technical language continued in use till the time of Cromwell, when by a statute the records were directed to be in English; but this act was repealed at the restoration, by Charles II., the lawyers finding it difficult to express themselves as well and as concisely in the vernacular as in the Latin tongue; and the language of the law continued as before till about the year 1730, when the statute of 4 Geo. II. c. 26, was passed. It provided that both the pleadings and the records should thenceforward be framed in English. The ancient terms and expressions which had been so long known in French and Latin were now literally translated into English. The translation of such terms and phrases were found to be exceedingly ridiculous. Such terms as nisi prius, habeas corpus, fieri facias, mandamus, and the like, are not capable of an English dress with any degree of seriousness. They are equally absurd in the manner they are employed in Latin, but use and the fact that they are in a foreign language has made the absurdity less apparent.
     3. By statute of 6 Geo. II., c. 14, passed two years after the last mentioned statute, the use of technical words was allowed to continue in the usual language, which defeated almost every beneficial purpose of the former statute. In changing from one language to another, many words and technical expressions were retained in the new, which belonged to the more ancient language, and not seldom they partook of both; this, to the unlearned student, has given an air of confusion, and disfigured the language of the law. It has rendered essential also the study of the Latin and French languages. This perhaps is not to be regretted, as they are the keys which open to the ardent student vast stores of knowledge. In the United States, the records, pleadings, and all law proceedings are in the English language, except certain technical terms which retain their ancient French and Latin dress.
     4. Agreements, contracts, wills and other instruments, may be made in any language, and will be enforced. Bac. Ab. Wills, D 1. And a slander spoken in a foreign language, if understood by those present, or a libel published in such language, will be punished as if spoken or written in the English language. Bac. Ab. Slander, D 3; 1 Roll. Ab. 74; 6 T. R. 163. For the construction of language, see articles Construction; Interpretation; and Jacob's Intr. to the Com. Law Max. 46.
     5. Among diplomatists, the French language is the one commonly used. At an early period the Latin was the diplomatic language in use in Europe. Towards the end of the fifteenth century that of Spain gained the ascendancy, in consequence of the great influence which that country then exercised in Europe. The French, since the age of Louis XIV. has become the almost universal diplomatic idiom of the civilized world, though some states use their national language in treaties and diplomatic correspondence. It is usual in these cases to annex to the papers transmitted, a translation in the language of the opposite party; wherever it is understood this comity will be reciprocated. This is the usage of the Germanic confederation, of Spain, and of the Italian courts. When nations using a common language, as the United States and Great Britain, treat with each other, such language is used in their diplomatic intercourse.
     Vide, generally, 3 Bl. Com. 323; 1 Chit., Cr. Law, *415; 2 Rey, Institutions Judiciaires de l'Angleterre, 211, 212.

References in periodicals archive ?
'I criticised her for using foul language on the floor of the house,' he said.
ECP had sent notices to the politicians on the basis of media reports suggesting the use of foul language by these figures.
We in the Philippines now have a modern version of those events in America but in our case, TV and media is not actively selling, promoting or showing profanity or hate messages, we are merely covering the events and personalities who are now the source of such foul language and public conduct.
KARAK: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had successfully put the country on the path of progress and development, and with its growth-oriented policies, now it was up to the people to choose who their well-wishers were.Addressing a gathering at the inauguration of Nashpa Oil and Gas Processing Facility and LPG Recovery Plant here, the prime minister said that it was up to the people to vote for those who used foul language or those who believed in decency and served them.
Yesteryear even the lowest of lowdown men would not curse or use foul language to or in the presence of women.
Aled Jones said: "I can report foul language and abusive behaviour but that isn't the case for my family sitting in the stand.
He was dismissed from his technical area by ref Barry Cook during Saturday's 4-2 defeat at home to Raith although the Bairns boss insisted he did not use foul language and should not be punished.
During investigation, the woman confessed that she lost control of her temper due to the issue she had with the airline and that she went back to the victim - who had nothing to do with the issue - and used foul language.
Such obscene and foul language are often found in clothes and footwear and also toys with recorded-built in offensive words.
If anyone should be got rid of, it's Ms Phillips for using such foul language during a row in the House of Commons last month telling Diane Abbott to "f*** off."
But all my admiration for Vasudeva just flew off in the air the day he used the detested foul language on prime-minister, Ranil Wickramasinghe, in the parliament.
SIR - Most professions develop their own language, but as the only foul language most people hear is on TV or films, it seems it is an integral part of showbusiness language.