Es geht um das Plural von court-martial (Militärgericht), normalerweise courts-martial, aber man sieht auch court-martials. The Discouraging Word ist nicht ganz glücklich, und die New York Times brachte am Sonntage beide Versionen.
The Discouraging Word, reading about Iraq courts-martial and also court-martials in the papers, wonders whether the plural has to be the former. The entry (May 18th) cites the standard dictionaries.
I will cite Garner’s Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage.
It says that court-martial is hyphenated both as noun and as verb. ‘The OED lists the verb as colloquial, an observation now antiquated.’
bq. In order texts, the term is sometimes rendered martial court – e.g.: “[A] martial court must needs in the present case confine its attention to the blow’s consequence ….” Hermann Melville, Billy Budd.
There is also an entry on what are called post-positive adjectives:
act malum in se
brief amicus curiae
corporation de facto
corporation de jure
court martial [where’s the hyphen gone?]
fee simple defeasible
fee simple determinable
letters rogatory (U.S.)
offense mala prohibita
queen regent (or regnant)
twelve men good and true
I also thought of Governor General, who represents the Queen as head of state in former commonwealth countries that do not want to have their own president. Or something like that.