Hot coffee at Starbucks/Heißer Kaffee bei Starbucks

Overlawyered bespricht den Fall der Anwältin Alice Griffin, der jetzt Schadensersatz zugesprochen wurde ($310,000, aber beachte, die Summe wird vom Richter reduziert), weil ein Starbucks-Angestellte einen Becher mit Kaffee auf ihren Fuss fallen ließ.

(Umformuliert, da ursprünglich irreführend):
Dieser Fall ist anders als der Stella-Liebeck vs. McDonalds-Fall zu tu. Es handelt sich um einen Angestellten, der auf Alice Griffin Kaffee verschüttete und Verbrennungen verursachte. Wer der Meinung ist, die Stella-Liebeck-Geschichte hätte in Deutschland nicht stattfinden können (was allerdings nicht sicher ist), kann das jedenfalls von dem Alice-Griffin-Fall nicht behaupten, auch wenn die Schadensersatzsumme kleiner gewesen wäre.

The New York attorney Alice Griffin has been awarded $310,000 damages – but it’s reported that the judge is reducing the sum – because a negligent Starbucks employee dropped coffee on her foot, and because the coffee was so hot and the victim’s socks, sneakers and stockings held the heat in and so permanent damage was caused to the victim’s foot. No-one suggested the coffee was too hot. This is certainly not a case of ‘only in America’ – it could even have happened in Germany. If I carelessly drop a burning log on someone’s foot, I’m liable, and there’s no discussion about how hot the flames were.

See Overlawyered (Ted Frank) for a good analysis and comparison with the Liebeck case (which I mentioned here).

It seems unfortunate that Alice Griffin had to be burned with coffee. If it had only been tea, we could have avoided the outcry in the press that has probably only just begun.

(Via Jurabilis)

Purple carrots/Urmöhre trifft Karotte

German has a number of regional terms for many vegetables. I’m conscious of now saying Orange instead of Apfelsine, or wondering what to call a turnip. I usually say Karotte, but I hear Möhre here too for carrots, Mohrrübe less often and gelbe Rübe not at all, but perhaps in Munich.

But these purple carrots (from Texas, I think, a cross between old purple carrots and newer orange ones) are labelled Urmöhre trifft Karotte. It’s as if Möhre were the older word (before the 10th century – Morchel started as a diminutive of it) and Karotte the alien upstart (borrowed before the 16th century from Dutch, which had it from French and Latin – etymology from Kluge). I don’t know in which century carrots went orange, though. I remember Madhur Jaffrey or maybe Claudia Roden referring to a bleeding Indian carrot, and not as a term of abuse.



Phone-in prize shows/TV-Gewinnspiele eventuell ungesetzlich in England?

Times Online reports that phone-in prize shows may be closed or run as lotteries.

Apparently any game that charges a fee to play and does not involve skill is a lottery. And to run a lottery, you have to get a licence and give 20 per cent of the revenue to charity.

The current games are allowed to call themselves prize competitions if there is an alternative method of playing free of charge, without exorbitant phone charges. There is an alternative method – playing over the Internet – but this possibly is not advertised enough.

bq. The Gambling Commission could try to shut down the channels for potentially breaking the 1976 Lotteries and Amusements Act. However, its latest consultation document, Prize Competitions and Free Draws, indicates that laws due in September next year are much tougher.

bq. It says: “Many of the commercial schemes which currently operate as competitions are, in the commission’s view, [complex lotteries]. Good examples are the TV quiz shows on dedicated channels . . . All such channels will either have to stop operating altogether or operate under the provisions relating to lotteries or ensure that they operate such that they fall within the provisions relating to either prize competitions or free draws set out below.”

I imagine the situation is similar in Germany.

phone-in prize show: die Call-in-Show
prize competition: Preisausschreiben

Literary hoax/Betjeman-Biograf getäuscht

A bit off topic this, but still. The Sunday Times reports that A.N.Wilson was delighted to record in his biography that John Betjeman had a more exciting love life than previously thought.

bq. The letter begins: “Darling Honor, I loved yesterday. All day I’ve thought of nothing else. No other love I’ve had means so much.”
Later on in the letter the poet waxed that “love has given me a miss for so long and now this miracle has happened. Sex is a part of it, of course.”
Betjeman then ended the letter: “Tinkerty-tonk, my Darling. I pray I’ll hear from you tomorrow. If I don’t I’ll visit your office in a fake beard. All love, JB.”
Close study of the letter, however, shows that the capital letters at the beginning of each sentence spell out a message: “AN Wilson is a shit”.

There is more to the story, and if he didn’t deny it, one might almost believe the hoax was done by a fellow-Betjeman-biographer who can’t stand Wilson. The evidence came from an untraceable address on the Côte D’Azur. Well, it can’t have been Joe Orton or Peter Cook. At all events, it was too late to remove the story from Wilson’s book.

Integration/Integrationsmaßnahmen für Deutschland

A discussion of two books to help foreigners adapt to Germany shows it is not easy to tell them about cultural differences. Pictures in one book ridicule the non-German behaviour (including two men kissing as a greeting, someone spitting on the pavement, and a man walking ahead of his wife).

Gemäß dem Integrationsgesetz wird die Integration Ausländer in die BRD gefördert. Hier z.B. bei der Stadt Regensburg:

bq. Der Integrationskurs umfasst einen Basis- und einen Aufbausprachkurs von jeweils gleicher Dauer zur Erlangung ausreichender Sprachkenntnisse sowie einen Orientierungskurs zur Vermittlung von Kenntnissen der Rechtsordnung, der Kultur und der Geschichte in Deutschland.

Ich habe schon mal das Handbuch zu Deutschland erwähnt.

In den Nürnberger Nachrichten (nur Print) bespricht Ursula Persak zwei Bücher: 30 Stunden Deutschland, Klett Sprachen Verlag, und Zur Orientierung. Deutschland in 30 Stunden, Hueber Verlag.

Nach den Beispielen zu schließen (auf den Verlagsseiten auch Auszüge) wird es doch etwas peinlich, wenn man kulturelle Unterschiede mit Ausländern bespricht oder durch Bilder ihnen klarmachen will, wie sie sich verhalten sollten. Hier eine halbe Seite aus 30 Stunden Deutschland (klicken, um Bild zu vergrößern):


MIPC / Simsen für Anwälte

In the Texas Appellate Advocate, summer 2006, there’s an article, Legalese in the Age of IM (Instant Messaging) by Roger Hughes suggesting SMS abbreviations for judges and lawyers:

ASSA = assuming arguendo
WADR = with all due respect
MIPC = May it please the Court
THJTC = The Honorable Justices of This Court
OFG = Open the flood gates
2SL = slippery slope
ATC = all things considered

and so on. More in the comments (e.g. IKIWICI: I know it when I see it). We are informed:

bq. Mr. Hughes had his sense of humor surgically removed before graduating in 1977 from the University of Texas School of Law. His lack of drollery lead directly to being board certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He can be found puzzling over witticisms and double-entendres at Adams & Graham, L.L.P., in Harlingen, Texas. He wishes to
thank contributions from his colleagues whose humor is not similarly impaired: Don Wittig, Doug Alexander, Roger Townsend, Scott Clark, and the editors.

Here’s a less legal dictionary of SMS, BuzzWhack.

Via Forensic Linguistics list and Wall Street Journal law blog.

Fungus revisited/Schwamm, d.h. Pilz, weniger gelb

August 16:


August 21:


There’s one on flickr too. A commenter says: probably Laetiporus sulphureus (sulphur shelf fungus). Elsewhere I find the name chicken of the woods. And it looks as if people are eating it in Seattle. Schwefelporling – Speisewert: essbar (they don’t say if it tastes OK): I even found it in my mushroom book, and they say I should have taken it when it was bright yellow and juicy, and it is an exception to the rule that tree fungi are usually of no interest to the cook. The older it gets, the drier it becomes.