R v Upward Day 2: Cocklecarrot en colere (please insert accent grave)

Luke Upward’s trial resumed the following day with an angry announcement from the judge. “Some serious errors have been committed in the report of yesterday’s proceedings.” A stunned silence suffused the spectators, and a retired steam-presser in the jury had to suppress a gasp. “In order to give the court some moments of relief from its onerous duties in this complex case, I made from the bench a number of obiter dicta jocosa, or humorous sallies, to use the vernacular term. These evoked a response which has been recorded as (LAUGHTER). Bring before me the court reporter!”

A nervous young man was hauled from his place by an usher. Cocklecarrot stared at him balefully over the half-moon spectacles which are standard issue for the English judiciary. “What is your name, young man?”
“Charles Dickens, m’lud.” Upward could see wheels turning very slowly in the judge’s mind, as if propelled by a very arthritic hamster.
“That name seems familiar to me. Should it be?”
“Your Lordship may have in mind an ancestor of mine who spent part of his career as a court reporter.”
“Perhaps so. Well, Mr Dickens, should you wish to emulate your ancestor in his profession you should ponder the punctilio of punctuation. (LAUGHTER) conveys the raucous ribaldry of the golf club bar or all those stag evenings at Tortfeasors Hall where the Lord Chancellor played the ukulele on a unicycle in a garter belt…” The judge’s eyes glazed in momentary memory of happier times. “It has long been the practice in this court to record any merriment as {laughter}. Notice, young man, the elegant curves of the brackets, reminiscent of a delicate smile of appreciation. Notice too, the restraint of the lower-case lettering.”
“I am most grateful for your Lordship’s correction.”
“I think we may assign any upper case where it belongs, in the House of Lords.” (LAU which the young man hastily corrected to {laughter}.
“I humbly beg your Lordship’s pardon.”
“Given, Mr Dickens, but let there be no further solecism in your scribing. Your career hangs by the most gossamer of threads.” The case would continue.

10. February 2013 by rkh
Categories: Belles-Lettres | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on R v Upward Day 2: Cocklecarrot en colere (please insert accent grave)