Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.

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De minimus

IN the recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that the words 'under God' do not belong in the Pledge of Allegiance, Justice Ferdinand Fernandez wrote in his dissenting opinion, "When all is said and done, the danger that 'under God' in our Pledge of Allegiance will tend to bring about a theocracy or suppress somebody's beliefs is so minuscule as to be de minimis." On a mailing list I subscribe to, someone asked what 'de minimis' means, legally. His question got this response:

  There once was a lawyer named Rex
  Who had miniscule organs of sex
      When accused of exposure
      He said with composure,
  "De minimis non curat lex."
("The law does not concern itself with trifles.")

meaning: miscellaneous
雑事 == zatsuji == miscellaneous matters
雑誌 == zasshi == magazine
The top left radical, 'nine' (九), was originally a pictogram meaning 'cloth'. The bottom left radical is 'tree' (木) and the right-hand radical, 'bird'. This character apparently originally represented the gathering of multiple bits of cloth and making a patchwork garment out of them. Henshall suggests as a mnemonic:  'Nine miscellaneous birds gathered in tree'.


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