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February 2010
March 2010

2010-02-12 »

Things that are best lost in translation

    A clever Toronto lawyer was deep into a technical argument before the Supreme Court. His position was dependent upon a close reading of the legal text and turned on the letter of the law. Suddenly the chief justice, Beverley McLachlin, leaned forward and asked if his argument also worked in French. After all, the law is the law in both languages and a loophole in one tends to evaporate in the other. Only an argument of substance stands up. ... Reality seen through two languages can protect us from the demeaning of justice by technical acrobatics.

    -- John Ralston Saul, A Fair Country (p.128)

Parallel with the IETF's "at least two independent and inter-operable implementations" rule.

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