Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Testimony Hinges on Dictionaries, "Squiggly Thing"




    Want to bore a jury? Talk grammar.

    The cross examination of former Deputy Governor Bob Greenlee became so tedious Monday morning that at one point, defense lawyer Aaron Goldstein asked Greenlee if he knew what a "squiggly thing" was in the transcript of one recording.

    There's something at the end of the sentence after the word "hold", Goldstein asked. What's that "squiggly thing"?

    It was, of course, a question mark.

    Goldstein then asked Greenlee if he knew what a question mark was. Greenlee affirmed he did. But Goldstein wasn't finished. He then asked Greenlee whether he knew the definition of the word "could".

    After Greenlee again affirmed yes, Goldstein asked Judge James Zagel whether he could get the Yale-educated witness a dictionary. Zagel said no.

    The jury, meanwhile, looked confused.