I have a friend who once worked in the district court system. He said the pressure of being put on center stage during testimony tended to draw out the verbal gaffes hiding inside each of us.
I have a friend who once worked in the district court system. He said the pressure of being put on center stage during testimony tended to draw out the verbal gaffes hiding inside each of us. That’s totally understandable. Suddenly, you find yourself in a situation you’ve seen dramatized on TV and in the movies several thousand times since you lost interest in cartoons, or at least developed less interest in cartoons.
But unless you’ve embarked on a life of crime and aren’t very good at it, chances are you’ve never had the experience of testifying in open court yourself.
You take the stand, take your oath, and remind yourself not to break down in tears and confess to everything, particularly if you’re disputing a traffic ticket.
And then you try to talk “smart.”
That’s where elocution can come out electrocution.
Two of my friend’s favorites were,
“And that’s when the alteration started,” which obviously had something to do with a tailoring dispute.
And, “He began screaming profundities at me.”
That rapscallion, screaming stuff like, “I think therefore I am” at innocent passersby. I hope there’s a stiff minimum-mandatory sentence for such behavior.
At the risk of incurring the wrath of the judicial system myself, here’s a few profundities of my own that may be uninspiring enough to get me into a violent alteration:
You learn something new every day, which puts a lot of pressure on everybody.
If what you don’t know won’t hurt you, maybe it’s better not to learn something new every day.
Talk is cheap - unless you’re a successful motivational speaker.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat - but I bet they’re all disgusting.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks but young dogs aren’t housebroken.
Is a thingamajig the same thing as a thingamabob?
You’ve got the whole rest of your life ahead of you gets less and less encouraging.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be. Instead bundle together high-risk mortgages, collect a commission on their sale as investments, and insure them heavily to fail.
If you’ve got nothing nice to say, say nothing at all but it’s going to really cut into your Internet comment options.
Early bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise or a farmer.
Frank Mulligan is an editor in GateHouse Media New England’s Raynham office, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.