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Cheers - AE

Monday, 4 July 2011

By any other name...

I'm all for the principle of everyone having the right to their day in court but sometimes I do wonder how the hell some people expect to have their day without being openly laughed at. The list of legal actions falling somewhere between the frivolous and the outright ludicrous is ever increasing, and from America we have one that may just top them all. A prison inmate, Gerard Domond, is suing the prison service for US$50 million for...

Actually, before I continue I should perhaps warn readers to carefully put down any food or drink well away from the computer and swallow anything they'd already taken a bite or slurp of before sitting back down and reading on, as this has the potential to ruin a few keyboards. Done that? Okay. Prison inmate Gerard Domond is suing the prison service for US$50 million for calling him a prison inmate. Yes, really. It's stigmatising him, apparently.
THE family of a cold-blooded killer serving 25 years to life in state prison for shooting a man in the head complained he was being stigmatised by the use of the term "inmate".
Okay, well it seems it's actually his sister doing the suing, but still. And why does she have a problem with her prison inmate brother being called a prison inmate?
The label "implies that our brother is locked up for the purpose of mating with other men," Marie Domond claimed in a lawsuit against New York State Correctional Services Department.
Yes, her surname is Domond and not Malaprop, and since her dear brother has been locked up since 1987 I find it difficult to believe that she's only just heard that he's been referred to as an inmate and that she doesn't actually understand what the word means. For her benefit a quick visit to dictionary corner is in order (Webster's since we're interested in the American English definition), and it says anyone who is lawfully detained so as to take it up the Gary Glitter with monotonous regularity. No, of course it doesn't. It says this:

I've checked a couple of other dictionaries and nowhere is there any suggestion that the word inmate implies any particular purpose in locking up people, least of all the specific purpose of encouraging hot botty man loving. In fact it doesn't even necessarily mean that someone is locked up, although that is a common enough usage that the word probably does imply that someone is forcibly confined. Not that that helps the Domonds since Gerard is without doubt forcibly confined. So why is...
Acting as her own lawyer...
Ah. I've never been a fan of that lawyers' sneery line about someone representing themselves having a fool for a client, but I have to admit that there's probably something in it now and then. This might be one of those times.
Acting as her own lawyer, Marie insists: "The suggestive nature of the word is disgraceful. This cruel psychological programming has weighed heavily on our emotional and psychological well-being.
"I couldn't understand why no one recognized that somebody being labeled an inmate, why they wouldn't recognize that."
Oh, good grief.
"It's something that's bothered me for a long time."
But, and I'm assuming for the moment that all of that is genuinely meant, it doesn't seem to have bothered her enough either to have questioned why nobody else has been bothered by the use of the word over the centuries or to have done anything about it until only a couple of years before Gerard may get out. Ignoring the possibility that fingers may be crossed in the hope of a fat windfall coinciding with whatever they call release on licence in New York state, it doesn't seem like it's been much of a priority, does it?
"To me it just sounded very wrong," said Marie.
Oh, well, if it sounds wrong then clearly it must stop and he be referred to as something else forthwith.

How about 'murderer'?
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