Posted by Wilhelm
The odd book title competition, which was blogged by Mary of a couple of days ago, has inspired the Law Librarian Blog to sponsor a competition for oddest law book title. The few nominees that have been received so far, however, do not impress me as that altogether odd. Perhaps my nearly third of a century as a lawyer has dulled my sense of the preposterous.
Off hand, I cannot think of any law books that I would nominate for oddness of title (boring, yes, but not particularly odd). I do, however, have a favorite odd legal definition. I stumbled across this one in Black's Law Dictionary (antediluvian edition), when I was in law school. The definition was for that quaint English measurement of land the "fardel".
What makes this term especially endearing is that the editors at the generally definitive Black's could not figure out exactly what the size of a fardel was. As best I recall, after all these years, one side contends that a fardel was one quarter of a yardland. Others, however, vigorously assert that a fardel was only an eighth of a yardland because, according to them, there are two fardels to the nook and four nooks to the yardland.
Perhaps our British readers would like to weigh in on this one.