Saturday, December 17, 2016

Debate, Lawyers, and Snappy Sammy Smoot #socs

I don’t know why I looked at “moot” and immediately thought of “smoot,” as in Snappy Sammy Smoot, the star of a number of underground comic books by Skip Williamson. I think I saw a picture of Sammy saying something like “Don’t wee-wee on your teevee.” I wasn’t much of an underground comic book aficionado. I just remember that one drawing.

Anyway, “moot” either means “arguable” or “irrelevant.” You see the term mostly in law, where moot means “of no legal significance” or “not presenting an open legal question.” You hear about “moot court” in law school, where they argue cases that have already been argued and settled. Sounds kind of pointless, but it gives them practice on controlling themselves when they want to get up and strangle opposing counsel.

There are a lot of lawyer jokes out there, most of them based in fact. For example:

What do lawyers use for birth control? Their personalities.

I shouldn’t badmouth lawyers. They’ll probably sue me or something. And if you’re a lawyer, I heard that joke from a lawyer. No offense intended.

I was on the debate team for a while in high school. I wasn’t very good at it. I got up in rebuttal once and asked the other team, “Are you out of your minds? What kind of a crackpot idea is that?” I quit to join the school band before they could throw me off the team. I wasn’t as bad as Ron White, though. Language advisory…

Oddly enough, a few years later I met one of the guys I had debated against. He said, “you must have won, we didn’t win much.” I said, “yeah, well you beat us.” And no, he wasn’t one of the people I said the above to.

You know what drives me crazy? When people confuse the words “moot” and “mute,” as in “It’s a mute issue.” That means it can’t talk, dummy.


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from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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