Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

For the past couple of years I've been carrying a pocket notebook around, to take notes and jot down things I want to remember. Like my brain, my notebook is kind of a whore's top drawer, full of useless odds and ends-- even more so, if you can imagine, than Outside Counsel is. Among the things I record are turns of phrase or idiomatic expressions that I want to try to remember. Some of them are familiar-- a colleague talked about "a couple of different ways to skin that cat if you need to" at a conference, and it seemed to me that using cat skinning as a way of describing alternative methodologies is still a useful turn of phrase. Some others I heard this year:

A "slip seat operation" is what it's called when you run a trucking company where the drivers are interchangeable.

When someone runs down a checklist without actually checking on each item they are "pencil whipping".

When you tell the bank your card has been stolen they say that it is "hotted".

I may have mentioned that I "tacoed" the wheel of EGA's bike when I ran it into the overhang of the parking garage.

"What should you do if you meet a tiger in the forest?" "Nothing. The tiger will do everything himself."

An aphorism attributed to a number of different writers: There are only two stories-- a man goes on a journey; a stranger comes to town.

Two different funny things that EGA said over Thanksgiving. She was descibing how he toaster had caught fire when it didn't pop up, and noted that this had never happened before, and hadn't happened since, leading her to conclude that it was Hume's toaster. Discussing the movie "101 Dalmations" she observed that one of the litter in the movie, Dipstick, does not appear in the book. "He's a non-canonical puppy."

The compiler of the Yale Book of Quotes has a list of this sort of thing too.

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