Irony and jurisprudence make quarrelsome bedfellows. The former displays the problematic nature of language itself, and forces us to recognize that there are always gaps between speaker and audience, utterance and silence, message and meaning, community and exclusion. If we stare too long, everything starts to lose coherence and the effect becomes kaleidoscopic; meaning disintegrates altogether.1 The latter, meanwhile, asks us to overlook our doubts and to find continuity. History and reason provide patterns of predictability and a comforting sense of order whereby the past, present, and future appear linear and we can see where we are going; meaning is stabilized.
KeywordsLegal Discourse Legal Language Prison Guard Comforting Sense Valuable Uncertainty
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