Author Topic: Jack Cahill Working on Book About the Case  (Read 12506 times)

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Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Jack Cahill Working on Book About the Case
« Reply #31 on: March 13, 2013, 07:08:14 AM »
Continuing discussion of W-6 on W-6 thread.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Jack Cahill Working on Book About the Case
« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2013, 12:51:58 AM »
I sometimes check S.I. Hayakawa's book Use the Right Word: A Modern Guide to Synonyms when I want to make sure a word means what I think it means.

I'm not familiar with that work.

I read Hayakawa's book on 'general semantics', lo these many years ago. (I looked him up to make sure it was the same person. I was thinking he represented Hawaii in the Senate, and might have been born there. Actually he represented California, and was born in Canada.)

I wonder if that book was intended to be used in the way you want. Its title doesn't identify it as a dictionary. It seems like more of a style guide than something intended to be an arbiter of 'correct' usage.

In any case, I know of no reason I should regard this book as having equal or superior authority to an unabridged Webster's dictionary.

If I did so regard it, I would still maintain that citing any reputable authority is sufficient defense against an allegation of incorrect usage.

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It still applies to the reputation of a doctrine or ideology and is more forceful than retract in suggesting a total disavowing or abject capitulation, including an admission of past guilt and an implied promise to foreswear the error in the future.

I have to wonder if the author meant that use of the word suggests these things in all possible contexts, and that any other usage is incorrect. If he did, that is not consistent with my experience.

In that experience, the word 'recant' is commonly used for a witness retracting a statement. To me it feels like the most apt word, suitable to the gravity of matters that are or may be the subject of sworn testimony.

I think that usage is supported by adequate authority.

I have no quarrel with those who choose to use some other word themselves. I don't agree that 'recant' is technically incorrect, excessive in connotation, or 'loaded'.

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If W6 admitted he had lied, and it was actually Zimmerman raining down blows on Martin, recant would apply.

Neither an admission of intentional deception, nor substitution of any particular alternative claim, or any such claim, is required for withdraw/repudiate/retract/recant to apply.

Offline MJW

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Re: Jack Cahill Working on Book About the Case
« Reply #33 on: March 14, 2013, 02:32:49 AM »
I wonder if that book was intended to be used in the way you want. Its title doesn't identify it as a dictionary. It seems like more of a style guide than something intended to be an arbiter of 'correct' usage.

In any case, I know of no reason I should regard this book as having equal or superior authority to an unabridged Webster's dictionary.

It is a writing style guide, and is descriptive not prescriptive. It's similar a thesaurus, except it attempts to differentiate the shades of meaning between words that are more or less synonymous. Dictionaries sometimes do that in usage notes, but that's not their primary function.

Whether or not you agree with the book on the connotation of recant, you should at least be able to understand while some of us feel it's a loaded word. We have the authority of well-known linguist, along with the Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary Staff, who co-authored, in our corner.

In my experience, the word recant when applied to testimony is almost always confined to situations where the witness admits to lying, and completely reverses his or her testimony.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Jack Cahill Working on Book About the Case
« Reply #34 on: March 14, 2013, 02:33:06 AM »
In my experience, the word recant when applied to testimony is almost always confined to situations where the witness admits to lying, and complete reverses his or her testimony.

That is an entirely different point from what is stated in the entry from the book that you cited.

Offline MJW

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Re: Jack Cahill Working on Book About the Case
« Reply #35 on: March 14, 2013, 02:48:43 AM »
That is an entirely different point from what is stated in the entry from the book that you cited.

No it's not. I'll repeat the book's comment:

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It still applies to the reputation of a doctrine or ideology and is more forceful than retract in suggesting a total disavowing or abject capitulation, including an admission of past guilt and an implied promise to foreswear the error in the future.

That's directed more toward a belief than to testimony, but what short of a lie requires "total disavowing" of previous testimony, along with "abject capitulation," "an admission of past guilt and an implied promise to foreswear the error in the future"?

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Jack Cahill Working on Book About the Case
« Reply #36 on: March 14, 2013, 02:58:55 AM »
what short of a lie requires "total disavowing" of previous testimony, along with "abject capitulation," "an admission of past guilt and an implied promise to foreswear the error in the future"?

An error.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Jack Cahill Working on Book About the Case
« Reply #37 on: March 14, 2013, 04:44:19 AM »
There was no recanting by witness 6 or 13. Neither changed the most critical elements of their accounts.

Non sequitur.

Recanting an element less critical than the most critical elements of an account, is recanting.

W-13 had two 'pops' in his 2/26 SPD interview. For FDLE on 3/20, it was one 'gunshot' and one noise that 'sounded like a grunt'. He wasn't sure which came first.

I still can't find W-13's FDLE interview anywhere except Axiom Amnesia.

Why did you bring up W-13? He hadn't been mentioned on the thread before.

In the post that started this discussion, I mentioned W-6 recanting a specific statement, in support of a point about Jack Cashill, not about W-6 or his other statements.

The post I was referring to is called 'Why Florida Persists in the Zimmerman Prosecution'. I'm not linking it because I think it is problematical in other ways as well.

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An hour after the shooting, Witness #6 told the Sanford Police Department (SPD) that he saw a "black man in a black hoodie on top of either a white guy. . . or an Hispanic guy in a red sweater on the ground yelling out help." According to #6, the black man on top was "throwing down blows on the guy MMA [mixed martial arts] style."

There are some minor errors in this part. Serino's report puts the interview at 9:05, which is about an hour and 50 minutes after the shooting at 1:17. (38/184).

The wording is off at a couple of points.

0:37-1:05
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W-6: There was a black man with a black hoodie, on top of, either a white guy, or, now that I've found out, I think it was a Hispanic guy, with a read sweatshirt on, on the ground, yelling out "Help!" And then, you know, I tried to tell them, you know, "Get out of here!" you know, "Stop!" or whatever. And then, the one guy on top in the black hoodie was pretty much just, throwing down blows on the guy, kinda MMA style.

Serino: Like a ground and pound? OK?

W-6: Yeah, like a ground and pound, on the concrete at this point.

The ellipsis is neither an error nor minor. It conceals the important information that W-6's account was influenced by hearsay very early. It might have been Serino himself, who also told W-18 his opinion of who was calling for help, or the officer who took W-6's written statement, or another witness.

The main point is that Cashill never mentioned W-6's FDLE (or SAO) interview, much less alerted them to his repudiation of the 'MMA' statement. In the overall context of his post, I think that is highly misleading.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Jack Cahill Working on Book About the Case
« Reply #38 on: March 14, 2013, 04:57:38 AM »
Although I disagree with a number of things Obama has said on race, I hardly consider him a racial agitator.

Sticking to what is relevant to the Zimmerman case, I think Obama's 'if I had a son' comment qualifies as agitation.

Offline MJW

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Re: Jack Cahill Working on Book About the Case
« Reply #39 on: March 14, 2013, 11:36:15 AM »
An error.

That would have to be some error to require complete capitulation and an admission of past guilt. In any event, I was speaking of my experience in having heard the word used, and by saying "almost always," allowed for cases where it was used for non-lies.

You can, of course, continue to use recant to describe a witness qualifying or backing off from the certainty of prior testimony, and those of us who believe the word applies only to a much more forceful renunciation will continue to think you're using a loaded word.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Jack Cahill Working on Book About the Case
« Reply #40 on: March 14, 2013, 09:14:44 PM »
That would have to be some error to require complete capitulation and an admission of past guilt.

Take it up with Hayakawa.




Offline MJW

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Re: Jack Cahill Working on Book About the Case
« Reply #41 on: March 14, 2013, 09:24:57 PM »
Take it up with Hayakawa.

Hayakawa is, I believe, referring to an error in professing a false doctrine, not an error of fact. And that will have to be my last word, since I've said everything I think I need to say on this issue.

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Jack Cahill Working on Book About the Case
« Reply #42 on: March 14, 2013, 10:01:38 PM »
Hayakawa is, I believe, referring to an error in professing a false doctrine

That's my point.

'Error' usually means a belief sincerely held.

The other nouns Hayakawa used were heresy, doctrine, and ideology. All those words are neutral as to whether the beliefs are sincerely held.

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not an error of fact.

I don't agree that this is a clear distinction. A matter of doctrine may also be a matter of fact. But that's getting way off topic.

Offline unitron

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Re: Jack Cahill Working on Book About the Case
« Reply #43 on: March 14, 2013, 10:35:28 PM »
I sometimes check S.I. Hayakawa's book Use the Right Word: A Modern Guide to Synonyms when I want to make sure a word means what I think it means. Here's the entry for recant.

Recant once indicated the solemn retracting of a heresy by a former adherent. Witches were required to recant publicly or be hanged. It still applies to the reputation of a doctrine or ideology and is more forceful than retract in suggesting a total disavowing or abject capitulation, including an admission of past guilt and an implied promise to foreswear the error in the future: those who recanted Communism after the infamous nonaggression pact.

That's certainly how I interpret the word. If W6 admitted he had lied, and it was actually Zimmerman raining down blows on Martin, recant would apply. Saying he wasn't certain, not so much.

Are you sure that shouldn't be refutation and not reputation?

Anyway when I hear "recant" I pretty much immediately jump to "What you do to keep from being burned at the stake as a heretic, i.e., murdered painfully, by The Church".

Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Jack Cahill Working on Book About the Case
« Reply #44 on: March 14, 2013, 10:41:22 PM »
Are you sure that shouldn't be refutation and not reputation?

I think it was supposed to be 'repudiation'.

 

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