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Monday, June 11, 2007

Diagram Trouble

What I’m about to say may be the single pettiest thing ever posted to this blog: it’s a complaint about a diagram. The diagram in question appears in Lee Anne Fennell’s Property and Half-Torts, 116 Yale L. J. 1400 (2007). The article is good. Even the diagram qua diagram is okay; it’s just the order in which parts of the diagram are labeled that gets my dander up. The argument is a bit technical (read: “absurdly nit-picky”) and has a lot to do with spatial layout, so rather than try to dance about architecture, I’ve made up a little presentation to show what happens when papers from the right side of the tracks make some bad life choices.

Posted by James Grimmelmann on June 11, 2007 at 12:22 AM in Article Spotlight | Permalink


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Thanks to some interesting discussion via email, I'd like to state for the record that while Figure 2 uses Hohfeldian terminology in what may be a somewhat confusing way, I think that this is an inherent limit to the Hohfeldian framework, which applies more precisely to primary activities than to obligations to pay damages. Fennell chose one solution to this limit, and while I'd have chosen another, her resolution is reasonable. The numbering in Figure 1 remains my bigger (if small in absolute terms) beef.

Posted by: James Grimmelmann | Jun 11, 2007 2:58:42 PM

I'd say that this paper is a high-low, but it could become a high-high through appropriate rearchitecting of the editing and design functions, along with future-oriented strategizing about integrated publishing solutions and a focus on full-life-cycle information presentation to attract and retain scholarly customers.

Posted by: James Grimmelmann | Jun 11, 2007 10:02:23 AM

Jeff: Shpilkes translates colloquially as nervous energy (per your link), but literally it means pins or needles -- obviously a transcultural metaphor.

Posted by: steve lubet | Jun 11, 2007 9:49:51 AM

James, you have performed admirable four quadrant matrix work here. Please see my post The Consultant's Four-Quadrant Matrix (or What You Might Think About When You Have Shpilkes* the Night Before You Hit the Road), from my own Prawfs guest stint last summer. You may have a future in consulting.

Posted by: Jeff Lipshaw | Jun 11, 2007 7:00:56 AM

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