Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Professors Say the Darndest Things...

Yesterday one of my professors said "dot your j's...ahhh lower case j's that is ". This reminded me of some of my favorite things professors have said during class; "Using this statute is like wearing a belt and suspenders at the same time", "if you're going to sue someone under this tort you better go after them whole hog", "sack of snakes"-- I never did understand what my professor was trying to say when she used this phrase, but she said it all the time and it would make me giggle each time she did. I look forward to adding more phrases to this list over the next year! Let us hear of the funny things you've heard professors say.


  1. I had a professor as an undergrad who used the term, "month of Sundays". For example "this is going to take us a month of Sundays to finish." I'm still not 100% sure what it even means but I like to use the phrase whenever it seems appropriate.

  2. I had a professor that used what he called "the blush test." If you could make an argument to a judge without blushing, even if it was a little far-fetched, it was okay. If you blushed while saying it, the argument wasn't credible. Never heard anyone else use the term, but he said it all the time.

    I had another professor who used the term "the dog didn't bark" when referring to the cannon of statutory interpretation expressio unius est exclusio alterius (that a statute's failure to list something is interpreted to exclude that thing). I guess the phrase came from the Sherlock Holmes story "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime," in which a guard dog didn't bark and it was significant in solving the case. She said "the dog didn't bark" all the time, but it may have been because she didn't know how to pronounce expressio unius est exclusio alterius. I sure don't.

  3. A month of Sundays is a month (i.e. 30 days) consisting of only Sundays... in other words, a month of Sundays would be equivalent to 30 weeks.