Seven dirty scientific words

Seems that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was warned by their federal funding agency not to use the following seven words: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” The suggested substitute for “science-based” was “science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” as illustrated below:

Scientific disease control in consideration of community standards and wishes.

The federal agency indignantly responded that they’d never banned these words. On the contrary, the CDC is perfectly free to use them so long as they don’t mind losing their funding.

The notion of seven forbidden words naturally brings to mind George Carlin’s comic monologue “Seven dirty words,” which turned into a federal case when a man heard it on edifying public radio while driving with his 15-year old son. We can imagine why Dad was so pissed (one of the forbidden words). No doubt the teenage boy was terribly traumatized at hearing such words as “fuck” and “tit.”  Thanks to dad, these words are prohibited on the radio except between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when adults are asleep.

Here are seven words that should be banned in court:

  1. “Evidence-based.” Used by the prosecution in domestic and sex cases to mean exactly the opposite, namely a trial based on hearsay because the complainant doesn’t want to testify.  Comparable to the MTA’s term “Fast Track” meaning “no trains all weekend.”
  2. “Vulnerable.” Helpless little children and doddering old people, defined as anyone under 18 or over 50. Women of any age.
  3. “Judicial Discretion.” Arbitrariness immune from appellate review.  See “Fast Track.”
  4. “Reasonable Inference.” A way to arrive at the desired result in the absence of proof. See “Fast Track.”
  5. “Self-serving.” Anything said by a defendant in his defense.
  6. “Flexible standard.” Bent, stretched or twisted to favor the prosecution.
  7. “Obviously” (or “clearly,” “plainly,” “it is axiomatic that. . .”). Completely unsupported. See “Reasonable Inference.”



About Appellate Squawk

A satirical blog for criminal defense lawyers and their friends who won't give up without a squawk.
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3 Responses to Seven dirty scientific words

  1. Alex Bunin says:

    Add “common sense” : an appeal to disregard logic and science.


  2. Hippy says:

    If the defendant’s defense isn’t self serving, exactly who does it serve?


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