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Law Library News

Law Library News Archive

October 27, 2003
Sarah Hollingsworth, Editor









 Book of the Week:  The Deluxe Transitive Vampire

Karen Elizabeth Gordon, The Deluxe Transitive Vampire:  The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed (New York:  Pantheon Books, 1993)  (PE1112 .G58 1984 at Odegaard Stacks and Suzzallo/Allen Stacks).

If English grammar is your number one bugaboo, and you approach your legal writing assignments with the fear and trepidation of a five-year old gearing up for All Hallow’s Eve, then you might want to check out this time-honored and delightfully original volume which is available at two of our sister libraries on the UW campus.  Even the most grammar-phobic curmudgeon is sure to be drawn to the author’s eccentric (to say the least) approach to making the conventions of English grammar entertaining as well as comprehensible.  “It is in high spirits that this opulent, rapturous, vamped-up grammar drama leaps into your lap,” the author notes in her preface.  She delivers. 

Using a “ménage of revolving lunatics,” Gordon weaves a loose tale of High Gothic proportions to illustrate the basic rules every student should know.  Just to give you a taste, her lunatics include, among others, a wolf, a bat, a baby vampire, a lamia, a courtesan, a pizza chef, and a debutante.  With illustrations that even---or especially---a lawyer could love, Gordon renders the frequently dark and dreary rules of English grammar memorable in an odd and curiously haunting way, reminiscent of the shadowy stories we sometimes weave from the headstones found in old, neglected cemeteries.

Edgar Allen Poe warned that, “The true genius shudders at incompleteness . . . and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not every thing it should be.”  While true genius is not a prerequisite to everyday legal writing, the use of good English grammar is, and silence is frequently not an option in law school.  If you are feeling a bit weak and weary in this particular field of endeavor, you might want to check out Gordon’s entrancing approach to a sometimes deeply shrouded and mystifying subject.




 If you haven’t yet had taken the time for a self-guided tour of the fabulous Native American Art Collection in our new Library, stop by either the Circulation Desk or Reference Office and pick up an Art Walk packet.  The instructions are easy---simply label the circles on the Floor Plan of the Library with the numbers on the Artist Key that correspond to each work.   

Turn in your answers---even partially completed answers qualify---to the Circulation Desk or Reference Office before noon on Tuesday, October 28, 2003
.  The winner will be randomly selected from all entries, and, as usual, prior contest winners during this quarter are not eligible to win the prize. 




To do justice to All Hallow’s Eve, it only seems appropriate that we scare up some spooky judicial quotations. To win the next in a long line of fabulous Law Library Trivia Prizes, fill in the blanks in the following quotations using the correct phrase.  Turn in your answers, together with your name and email address to the Reference Office by midnight on Tuesday, November 4, 2003.  The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.


Good Luck!


1.  "_____ is not a brooding omnipresence in the sky . . . ." (Southern Pac. Co. v. Jensen, 244 U.S. 205, 221 (1917) (Holmes, J., dissenting).

     *      The rule against perpetuitieS

     * The common law

     * A dying declaration

     * An incorporeal hereditament


2.  "Invocation of the Due Process Clause to protect the rights asserted here would make the ghost of _____ [citation omitted] walk again." Federal Housing Administration v. Darlington, Inc., 358 U.S. 84, 91-92 (1958).

     * Jacob Marley

     * Lochner v. New York

     * Thomas Jefferson

     * Marbury v. Madison


3.  "In its procedural history, at least, this litigation has lived up to Judge Lumbard's characterization of it as a '_______’ posing as a class action.'" Eisen v. Carlisle and Jacquelin, 417 U.S. 156, 169 (1974)(Powell, J.).

     * Salem Witch Trial

     * Gordian Knot

     * Witch’s Brew

     * Frankenstein monster


4.  “Although the Year 2000 ("Y2K") did not usher in _____, it did leave us with a number of contract disputes.  Information Systems and Networks Corp. v. City of Atlanta, 281 F.3d 1220, 11th Cir. (Ga.), Feb 06, 2002 (Birch, C.J.).

     * A Reprise Of Psycho

     * Halloween IV

     * The apocalypse

     * A Phantom Specter