A start by “RD”

While my younger brother grapples with the technical aspects of wordpress and works out how to give me posting rights under my own ‘moniker’ I shall post with my avatar.

I began my academic career at a good university, but one, unfortunately placed geographically, far too distant from where I wished to be, so I did not spend much time there. I did make occasional journeys to the university town, with the intention of visiting the law school, but often found myself waylaid by the attractions of a fine pub situated about half a mile from the Law School and was not always able to make it to the school. I do, however, remember the Dean giving all the new students an address. The Dean was a solemn man, newly elevated to professorial rank, a man whose knowledge of criminal and other law stupefied the judges when he was at the Bar, to a point where it was felt that his talents might be better used in academe – which, indeed, they were.

He looked straight at us all. His eyes flickered and darted from side to side. He spoke quickly as he told us that of the 100 in the theatre only two would get a First, twelve, possibly, fifteen, would get an Upper Second, the herd would get Lower Seconds (and find solace practising law in modest firms), a few would get Thirds (and find little pleasure in a life in the law) and, sadly, – looking menacingly around the theatre: “Five to six of you will get pass degrees – a certificate of incompetence.”

I’m afraid, possibly though mild intoxication, that I found this absurdly funny and burst out laughing.

“Mr Charon” the Dean asked “Perhaps you find that amusing? Why so?”

I cannot, of course, remember the exact words which I used to reply (It always amazes me how people who write biographies can remember almost every word they spoke in their lives) but I will give the gist (and in future posts, should I need to resort to dialogue, I will ask you to imagine that I can remember every single word.)

“Well it is rather amusing, Professor ‘X’. How can anyone spend three years of their lives studying something and end up with a certificate of incompetence? Better to cut the losses after the first year and run.” The Dean merely smiled and passed on to other matters. I could, however, see a few anxious looks on the faces of my fellow students. There were eight women on the course. This was most disappointing. Things have changed – a theme to which I shall return when I next post.

R D Charon

Diversions

Here is an internet generated painting based on my name, my favourite colour, my emotional state at the time (crazy) and a host of other asinine questions. I have printed it out. Not a great painting – but these net technologies provide a little amusement for me. Get your own painting?

Malaysia draws up a list of unsuitable names for children. Yes – they have finally done it. Read the story here

Malaysia is a very sophisticated country. I know it well and like both the country and Malaysians. I can see what they are trying to do. Malaysia is made up of many cultures and races, but the predominant sections are: Malay, Chinese and Indian. I quote from the article
“Among the Malays, names such as Zani — which means male adulterer, and Woti — sexual intercourse, were banned, the report said.

For Indians, Karrupan, which means black fellow, is equally as taboo as are names which denote “fair skin,” such as Sivappi and Vellayan, it said.

Jainisah said parents could not name their babies after colours, animals, insects, fruits or vegetables. In the past, some in the Chinese community gave their children inauspicious names believing it would ward off evil spirits and bad luck. Now, names such as Ah Kow — dog in the Cantonese dialect, or Ah Gong — unsound mind, are prohibited. Other Chinese names on the banned list included Chow Tow and Sum Seng which mean smelly head and gangster respectivel”

From RollonFriday.coma story that Shoesmiths have elves on their staff

Good stuff. As RollonFriday say “recreational drugs in the water cooler?”

Miscellany for Monday

Canadian lesbian marriage not recognised marriage in UK

Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson, of North Yorkshire, were married in Vancouver in 2003. the High Court has declined to recognise their marriage in the UK. Sir Mark Potter, President of The Family Division is reported by the BBC as saying that the couple faced “an insurmountable hurdle” in trying to have a same-sex marriage recognised in English law. Their marriage, could, however, be recognised under The Civil Partnerships Act which confers the same legal rights enjoyed by married couples.

Is it really such an affront to traditional marriage for gay and lesbian couples to be denied a traditional marriage? Turning the argument around – if the parties are not deeply religious, is it such an affront to them to be denied a traditional Christian marriage ? (I make no reference to other religions in this piece, simply because I am not qualified to do so). British churches are full of marrying couples whose devotion to Christianity is, at best, shortlived and, I suspect, tenuous. Who is better in the eyes of God – a very devout gay or lesbian couple or a man and woman who have no real interest in or understanding of christianity ?

Tony Blair accused of conflict of interst in Cliff Richard copyright matter
When I was eight years of age, I thought The Shadows were pretty good (Charon is 53) and, of course, Cliff Richard was a mainstay of the pop scene then. I soon moved on to more radical musicians – Hendrix, Cream, Led Zep, The Doors, The Stones etc etc.

Tony Blair is a friend of Cliff Richard. He has stayed in Cliff’s villa. Now The Telegraph thunders that Tony has a conflict of interest, having stayed in Cliff’s villa, by lobbying for a change to rules that could stop Cliff and other artists receiving royalties from their old hits. There is a 70 year rule in other countries – why not UK? Charon, is not an expert on copyright – but maybe Geeklawyer could assist here – as he is?

The Telegraph reports…“Norman Baker, the Lib Dem MP for Lewes, said: “The Prime Minister has crippled himself by accepting hospitality from someone with a vested interest in Government policy.”

I’m no great fan of Lord Protector Blair and his war policy – but, on this one, I can’t really see why the PM should not support a proposition or lobby for a policy to allow those who are creative (even if it does include someone he knows) from enjoying financial benefits for a longer period. We know there is a witch hunt for Blair – but this strikes me as trying to find trouble where there is no trouble. Well…at least it gave the Lib-Dem and Tory spokesmen something to say. If I was the ‘Umpire’ here – I would say “Not out”. I would not raise my index finger to signify dismissal on the facts as presented in The Telegraph article. I will, of course, declare a conflict of interest myself – as the organisation for which I write this blawg are publishers and course providers Consilio / The Legal Practitioner / LawinaBox. I do have some sympathy with protection of copyright. We get ripped off occasionally – but when SPR finds it, they do tend to act.

This is what SPR did when they found a pirate selling LawinaBox CDs on Ebay One doesn’t always need to be heavy and resort to law! Am I preaching heresy again?

Time on your hands?…

No work ? Or just need a break? Try putting a football into the bin

Police to question Prescott on corruption: Independent Story
Tony Blair is in the States, standing up to Bush about stem cell research and colluding on Lebanon, while Jack Straw breaks ranks by criticising Blair’s stance on Lebanon. Prescott is in charge of Great Britain and, will be for another four weeks when Blair goes on holiday when he returns from the States. Prescott intends to rebuild his tattered image by visiting the regions – but will also have to find time to talk to Fraud Squad Plod about his visits to dome building american billionaire.

The Independent reports : Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, a Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, said Mr Prescott was guilty of a clear conflict of interest. “The act makes it very clear that hospitality must not be accepted from anyone who has obtained a government contract. The rules are very clear but the Government has been very casual about them. John Prescott wouldn’t recognise a conflict of interest if it punched him on the nose,” he said.

It is re-assuring to know that the Police are spending so much time invesitigating senior government ministers. Tony Blair, it is felt, may himself have to face questioning on the loans for honours scandal and now the DPM may find himself down at the local nick while the tape recorders whirr away. Will he be fingerpirnted? Will a DNA swab be taken?

Millions of children to be fingerprinted: The Observer reveals this morning that under EU legislation, millions of children – perhaps as young as six, will be fingerprinted. This is the brainchild of the EU ‘Article 6 Commitee”. Initially, of course, the fingerprints will only be accessible by the individual member state – but, then as is the way, it may be throught wise that all 25 states should be able to access all the fingerprints and, then, because we wish to promote good relations with foreign non-EU states, the possibility, at some unidentified time in the future, there exists the possibility that foreign secret services will have access (they call it ‘interoperability’) to the database.

‘Secure passports make a lot more sense than ID cards,’ said Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty. ‘But only as long as the information that is kept is no more than necessary and is not shared with other countries.’

Meanwhile, Gordon Brown is believed to be drawing up plans to scrap the costly ID card scheme because he does not believe that £18 billion pounds is good value for this project.

‘Say it ain’t so, Joe.’ Geoffrey Wheatcroft, writing in the Observer tells us why he loathes the sporting life now riddled with bungs, drugs and cheats. It is an interesting article – and, of course, he has a point. What is the point of watching sport when the competitors are loaded to the eyeballs with steroids, testosterone and other performance enhancing drugs.

I spent an enjoyable couple of hours, recovering from life enhancing Rioja on Friday night, watching Grevious Bodily Harmison and Monty Panesar destroy Pakistan on the cricket field at Old Trafford. Fascinating stuff – although cricket has had a share of cheating in recent times.

To be frank – I would quite like to see an alternative sporting competition where renegade sportsmen/sportswomen, who have been caught cheating, are allowed to perform with drugs and other enhancing products. What about seeing a muscle bound monster complete the 100 metres in 6 seconds, or watch a high jumper jump 20 feet into the air. What about a fast bowler who can deliver a cricket ball at over 200 mph? A Rugby player, so large and so fast, that no-one can bring him down and he scores 100 points on his own? Preposterous, of course.

Allow me to introduce you to….

My older brother.. Professor R D Charon LLB, MA, Ph.d

Yes… it is difficult when one stands in the shadow of talent. It nearly ruined my life. “RD” does in fact know some law and maintains to this day that I may have been better suited to a career with the Metropolitan Police as a Constable. RD spent most of his life writing books which no-one reads and teaching students. He also managed to spend a fair bit of time trying to subvert Heads of Department, Deans and Vice Chancellors. He did, in fact, become Dean of an undistinguished law school and it is best, perhaps, that we do not identify this institution. You may, therefore, take it, that no UK or other university will be identifiable from his ‘musings’. The same will apply to those colleagues he worked with who he will, undoubtedly, be merciless about.

I have asked “RD” (Not even I know his first name.) to assist me with my blawg by commenting on matters to do with legal education.

Paul McKenna wins libel case

The Guardian reports that McKenna has won his libel case..

In his ruling, Mr Justice Eady described the case as “curious” with “much energy expended to very little purpose”.

I went to a Paul McKenna stageshow many years ago – a stage version of his famous TV show. I thought it would be fun – and it was, as it happens, most enjoyable. I have also used his ‘Stop Smoking’ hypnosis video several times. I enjoyed being hypnotised (I assume I was) but, as I am clearly still smoking at professional standards,  it did not work for me. However, in McKenna’s defence…he does say that he cannot make people do things against their will.

Well..there we are.. Encouraged by this victory… I may have to have a look and see if I can find a university which will honour me for work I am doing, my life experience and a copy of some of my former written work. If you happen to know any university needing a new Vice-Chancellor, please email me. Vice Chancellor Charon D.Litt would do nicely…. especially if I can get a ‘K’ to go with it.

Photoshop has given me a taste of how I might look in a procession. Yes… I could do a bit of that.

The man who would be King…

It is not often that I feel the need to write about Constitutional Law (I leave that to those who teach or practise in the field) – but a wonderful story in The Guardian today has prompted me. Here is the link to the full story – worth a read.

In 1931, a Shropshire police inspector called King Anthony insisted he had a better claim to the throne than George V. King Anthony, described as tall and impeccably dressed whipped up the crowds at a series of talks/rallies to put his claim. Descended from a bastard son of Henry VIII, King Anthony maintained that James 1 of England was an imposter, James Erskine, whom he dubbed “goggle-eyed Jim”.

Of King George V, King Anthony said: “The King is a German, a pure bred German … I want to become the first policeman to cut off the King’s head.” ranted King Anthony, adding that “he would have no hesitation in shooting the king as he would shoot a dog.” Not surprisingly the Palace was a bit alarmed by this and plans were hatched to have him quietly declared insane. Unfortunately, the doctors would not play ball. The Guardian writer observes wryly “To the disappointment of the police and the Home Office: “His claim that he is entitled to the kingship of this country is not the mere autogenic delusion of the usual man who says ‘I am king’ but is a case of a sort.”

Again.. I quote from the Guardian.. “King George was consulted. He agreed that the full force of the law should be used to “put a stop to the effusions of the impostor”, as long as the monarch’s involvement was kept secret and it did not end in Hall’s imprisonment. ”

Well they finally nailed him. He was arrested for quarrelsome and scandalous language, fined £10 and bound over to keep the peace with a surety of £25 or the alternative of 2 months imprisonment and hard labour. King Anthony died in 1947 with no male heir. The Throne of the United Kingdom was saved.

Legality of the war in Iraq – the first hurdle

The Queen on the application of Gentle and others v (1) The Prime Minister (2) The Secretary of State for defence (3) The Attorney General [2006] EWCA Civ 1078 26th July

The families of soldiers killed in Iraq have won what Phil Shiner of Public Interest lawyers calls a ‘stunning victory’ and challenge the government’s claim that the war in Iraq is legal.

Interestingly, The Lord Chief Justice convened a court made up of Sir Anthony Clarke MR, Sir Igor Judge, President QBD and Lord Justice Dyson – three of the most senior judges in the country. The judgment makes interesting reading. The judges, overturned the High Court ruling:

  1. We have concluded that we should grant permission to apply for judicial review, essentially for the reasons set out above. We have also concluded that it would be appropriate for this court to hear the application. Mr Singh submitted that we should take that course, whereas Mr Sales submitted that we should not. He submitted that the respondents might wish to adduce evidence of fact which it would be more appropriate for a judge than for this court to analyse.
  2. In many cases that would be a powerful point. However, we do not at present see any reason why we should not be able, so far as necessary, to consider the facts with the assistance of counsel. We have therefore concluded that we should not remit the application for judicial review to the High Court but consider it ourselves subject only to this. If, after seeing the evidence or indeed after hearing argument about it, we conclude that justice requires that the application be remitted to a judge we will take that course. In the meantime, we think that the best course is to consider the application for judicial review ourselves and to resolve the whole matter in November. In these circumstances we have reserved three days in November during which this constitution of the court can hear the application.

The point Phil Shiner makes, in describing this as a stunning victory, is this: that it will force the government to explain why the Attorney General changed his equivocal advice of 13 pages into an unequivocal advice of one page that the war was legal.

Early days and as the CA noted – there are still formidable hurdles ahead. It is, at least, a start. Perhaps we may yet see clarity and accountability for a war which many regard as illegal.

Magisterial in the Magistrate’s Court

The Law West of Ealing Broadway blog - written anonymously by a magistrate is always worth a visit. I enjoyed the account of an East European, set upon by a thug, knifed and hospitalised, only to find himself up before the bench charged with possession of cannabis. The Police found a stash in his clothing which they took away for possible evidence.

This is what the magistrate said in his blog…

“Well, what would you have done?

We decided that after being knifed, spending two weeks in hospital, and losing his stash as well as some of his limited stock of clothing, enough was enough.

Some would call our Conditional Discharge a wimp-out. We thought it was pretty fair, in all the circumstances.”

Seems pretty fair to me. Why did the CPS bother to prosecute? Could this not have been dealt with by a caution? One commentator to the blog suggested that the prosecution was brought to improve crime resolution figures on the premise that it was a cut and dried matter and a conviction was assured. Is that commentator being cynical?

More women QCs..but why so few applications from solicitors?

Gary Slapper, writing in his Times Blog, draws our attention to the fact that 33 out of 68 women who applied were successful in the recent Silk round and draws attention to a case (and I quote) “in 1914, arising from an attempt of a woman to become a solicitor, even her lawyers dutifully accepted the proposition that women had no public functions, and that “in the camp, at the council board, on the bench, in the jury box there is no place for them”

Interestingly: 443 applications for silk were made, broken down as follows – barristers 431/ solicitors 12. (376 male / 66 female / 422 white / 21 non-white / 1 undeclared.) 33 women were successful. 4 solicitors were successful.
After all the fuss about the ‘anachronism, elitism, unfairness etc etc’ of the rank of QC from solicitors some years ago; one would have thought that there would have been a higher number of applications from solicitors.

According to a dca press release in November 2005 the criteria for selection are as follows: Integrity, understanding and using the law, analysing case material to develop arguments and focus the issues, persuading – communicating arguments, responding to unfolding case, working with the client, working in the team – criteria which, clearly, enables solcitors to apply on a reasonably even footing. (Unless I am missing the point)

Why so few applications from solicitors? Does the rank matter to solicitors anymore? It would be interesting to hear from solicitors on this.

EDIT 27 July:   You may be interested in this article in the Independent: The Big question – should we abolish QCs

Cricket..

Cricket is one of my interests – watching it these days, rather than playing. With injury depleting the “Ashes winning” England Team – and a curious first test, which arguably, we threw away, I am looking forward to the next test against Pakistan.

I could not resist this story from The Mirror “Every player in team gets a duck.” Goldsborough second XI achieved this distinction the other day. All their batsmen were caught without making any runs – which means they at least got the bat to the ball. Goldsborough received 5 runs from byes. Their opponents scored a six and the game was over. “Surreal and embarrassing” was one description of the game.

I have a feeling that it would have been an interesting match to watch with a bottle of Rioja to hand.

Anonymous Lawyer…. the book

Delighted after receiving an email from ‘x’@anonymous lawyer to give a fellow blogger a bit of publicity. He has a book coming out.  Check out the law firm – address below.
http://anonymouslawfirm.com/book.php?text_id=About 

I’ll let his email do the talking…also…I am being lazy after a long day…

FROM: Anonymous Lawyer
TO: All partners, associates, e-mail correspondents, support slaves
RE: Required reading

Announcing a temporary change to the firm’s long-standing policy that employees are not allowed to read anything besides lease agreements.

Anonymous Lawyer: A Novel hits stores today, July 25th, and is also available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, or your favorite on-line retailer. No, not that one. I mean the one that sells books.

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/pf283
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/pmbvs
Powell’s: http://tinyurl.com/pqxao

In the novel, Anonymous Lawyer sets out on a quest to eliminate his biggest rival, The Jerk, and become chairman of the firm — while dealing with incompetent associates, his spendthrift wife, and the inner torment deep in his soul. Very deep. It’s not a compilation of blog posts. That would be like double-billing a client. And we never double-bill clients. Okay, we do, but not this time. New material.

USA Today calls the book “wickedly amusing,” Publishers Weekly calls it “side-achingly funny,” the New York Post gives it 4 stars out of 4, and my grandmother really loves it too.

We’ll also be needing you to work this weekend on a memo for a case we’ve already settled, and there’s a typo somewhere in the tax code that we need you to find. Thanks.

Back to work,
Anonymous Lawyer

http://anonymouslawfirm.com

Suit you, Sir?

Fancy getting an A+ or a First in you coursework?

Well of course you do – but would you pay an essay writing service a fair bit of money (say £60 for 1000 words) to do it for you and then submit that work as your own?

There are a number of essay writing services who advertise their services on the net quite openly. I am not going to give them the oxygen of publicity by naming any of them – but this shoddy trade is a disgrace and brings UK legal (and other) education into disrepute and could, if the student gets caught, end their career in the profession before it has even begun.

So…how does it work. Well the websites I looked at tend to promise:

(a) a minimum of a 2.1 level piece of work (One website charged twice the rate to ensure a First)
(b) highly qualified writers (Often citing that their writers held a Masters degree or professional qualification)
(c) Delivery quickly
(d) a guarantee that it was ‘plagiarism’ free
(e) the commissioned work would never be posted on the net or used for someone else’s commission and
(f) absolute confidentiality

Naturally these reptiles of academe state that the work is for personal use by the student and may not be used for any other purpose – no doubt, to cover themselves against the charge that the students commission the work and then submit as their own original coursework. (But…no disclaimer from one company who my friend called)

Charon is nothing, if not thorough. A friend, a young woman, telephoned one of these websites. She made no misleading statements. She simply asked for information on having a piece of course work written, how much it would cost and how the system worked. She was told that she had to register, send in the details of the coursework. The coursework would then be written and returned to her. She did ask if she could hand that cousework in to a College and was told that she could. As simple as that.

I decided then to start making telephone calls. I called The Department of Education (I do enjoy telephoning our government) , who were most helpful and put me in touch with ‘Universities UK’. I have to call back after 10.00 tomorrow. I then phoned Amanda Fancourt, UK Centre for Legal Education, University of Warwick. Amanda Fancourt was very helpful, gave me a viewpoint that universities are doing their best to be vigilant and put me in touch with some of her colleagues at ALT who are doing research. I will write again about this subject – in a more scholarly way, hopefully, but merely flag it up now.

It irritates me that there are organisations who provide this service. It is shocking to know that students are prepared to cheat in this way – but perhaps most shocking of all is the fact that there are people – academics, practitioners, qualified lawyers? – who are drawn on by these companies to provide this cheat service. A very grubby trade.

Publishers publish textbooks and Q&As and a whole raft of study guides to help students. I have no problem at all with this – because lectures, textbooks and Q&A books are all in the public domain and can be scanned by plagiarism software – and the students have to do the work. Also – the content of these publications is not tailored to the specifics of a coursework essay.

If a student is caught – and it is proved that the work submitted is not their own – their academic and professional career is over. The problem is, however, that it may be difficult to prove. Surely , it would be better to take action directly against the suppliers of this type of service and insist that all coursework written for students is made public and therefore capable of being scanned by plagiarism software. I wonder how many students would be prepared, then, to pay £60 per 1000 words for a bit of help with their coursework? A lot cheaper to buy a textbook and do some work. Is this important enough for the universities and government to take action? I hope so. But will they?

A keen eye

From Consilio: Norman Baird, Editor of Consilio, clearly reads the speeches of the judiciary with greater care than I do. He picked up this gem from the LCJ’s speech….

Criminal Justice

“I have asked Lord Justice Keene, who chairs the Judicial Studies Board, whether he can lay on a sentencing induction course for Home Secretaries. He is considering this, but has warned me that the frequency of such courses would have resource implications.”

Speech by The Lord Chief Justice of England & Wales to the Lord Mayor’s Dinner For Judges Read

Justice moves at high speed

Criminals to be whisked before the court within 24 hours…

The Independent reports on Lord Falconer’s latest plans (Infra) to bring petty criminals who are choking the criminal justice system before the courts within 24 hours. Falconer is also going to let teenagers who commit crimes for the first time to apologise directly to their victims instead of facing the the courts.

Falconer also wants to set up mobile courts.

Lord Falconer said (The Independent) : “Too many cases take too long to come to court.

“Processes both in court and beforehand are often lengthy and arcane and take little account of the needs of victims and witnesses.

“The new measures mean that the criminal justice system, and in particular the courts, will be more responsive to concerns raised by local communities, reconnecting the criminal justice system with the public it serves.”

I have adverted to this below. Not being a criminal lawyer, I have absolutely no idea how this will work in practice – but it could either be good news or bad news for criminal lawyers (or is representation assumed not to be needed or desired?) and who is going to escort the virgin teen criminal to the victim to apologise (Para 7.19 Report – available dca website 21 July in pdf format under heading criminal justice review system published) . Presumably this will cost a fair bit of money to organise?

Is this another report destined to be brought into law so rapidly it is riddled with anomalies or are parts of it going to pass into history and be forgotten?

My picture has been taken from me

Curiously…at about 4.15 this afternoon, my picture mysteriously disappeared from the sidebar. I am not alone. Other WordPress users have experienced the same phenomenon. It may be the heatwave or global warming.

I am going to mention linkiewinkie again just to see what happens. This time, without a link (Infra)

Perusal and……Zidane

Zidane’s car wouldn’t start… and other thoughts from last Saturday evening.

I am sitting in the ‘Times reader’ infested garden at The Swan (a previous post below) with my copy of The Lawyer and Legal Week – would you believe? It is Saturday evening and I am waiting for a few friends, who are not trained lawyers and who cannot tell the time, to arrive. It is 6.30. there are children in the garden – but I know that they will be ejected or leave voluntarily at 7.00. But then…suddenly, there is the sound of a crying baby. I can feel my blood pressure rise. I wonder sometimes if I am turning into a grumpy old git or have already turned into one. I look over my distinctive black square reading glasses. The Mother catches my eye and looks upwards, a strained smile on her lips. Then a mobile goes off at their table.. a hideous ringtone which causes almost everyone nearby to turn. The collective disapproval of the herd of regulars (Would that be an appropriate collective noun?) and the Times Readers was too much for the Mother to cope with. It made the baby cry even louder and the Father and Mother scurried out, baby and pram. There is a god. I returned to my perusal of The Lawyer and Legal Week.

‘Perusal’… a word sacred to lawyers

Do we really still ‘peruse’. Do fee notes and bills refer to ‘To perusal of documents’ these days? Please feel free to comment below if you or your firm still ‘peruses’.

pe·ruse
tr.v. pe·rused, pe·rus·ing, pe·rus·es
To read or examine, typically with great care.

[Middle English perusen, to use up : Latin per-, per- + Middle English usen, to use; see use.]
pe·rusa·ble adj.
pe·rusal n.
pe·ruser n.
Usage Note: Peruse has long meant “to read thoroughly” and is often used loosely when one could use the word read instead. Sometimes people use it to mean “to glance over, skim,” as in I only had a moment to peruse the manual quickly, but this usage is widely considered an error. Sixty-six percent of the Usage Panel finds it unacceptable.

Language is interesting… no more so when English is translated from a foreign language. Here are a few examples.

In a Bucharest hotel lobby:
The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.

In a Paris hotel elevator:
Please leave your values at the front desk.

On the menu of a Swiss restaurant:
Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.

In an advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist:
Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists.