richard.hills at immi.gov.au richard.hills at immi.gov.au
Mon Dec 7 06:56:02 CET 2009

Pocket Oxford Dictionary:

amanuensis, n.  Clerk &c. who writes from dictation.  [L. = hand

Grattan Endicott, 4th December 2009

+=+ I would say that the 'author'* of the 2007 Laws was the
drafting committee comprising Max Bavin, Ralph Cohen, Joan Gerard,
Ton Kooijman, Jeffrey Polisner, William Schoder, Grattan Endicott
(Coordinator) and John Wignall (Chairman). In my view any one of
these is correctly termed a co-author.


Amanuensis Richard Hills, 7th December 2009:

Yes, my previous posting was ambiguous.  I did not intend to imply
that Grattan and Ton were the _only_ two co-authors of the 2007
Lawbook, but rather that they were _some_ of the co-authors
(together with Kojak and the rest of the Drafting Committee).  The
point that I clumsily failed to make is that even the most
distinguished authorities can differ in their personal views about
what is Lawful and what is unLawful.  It seems to me that David
Burn, Grattan Endicott, Ton Kooijman and William Schoder share a
common view that a Reveley Ruling is undesirable, but are split
down the middle on whether a Reveley Ruling is _necessarily_
unLawful (although Burn and Endicott believe that a Reveley Ruling
can be prohibited by a regulation of the Regulating Authority, as
is the case for the EBU).

Grattan Endicott, 4th December 2009:


    It is the case that, as my amanuensis in setting the decisions
of the drafting committee, Richard was able to draw attention
on a number of occasions to an improvement that he thought
worthy of consideration. Wherever I felt he was making a point
the committee might wish to look at, I included it in the material
circulating among the drafting committee without necessarily
attributing it to source.   ~ Grattan ~  +=+

* "writer of a book, article or report; originator of a plan
   or idea". .(co-author = a joint author).

Amanuensis David Burn, 21st December 2007:

Bridge is a game that has laws; those laws establish how the game
is played - and, of course, how it is not played. There can never
be, and could not ever have been even in 1963, "infractions that
have not yet been thought of"; anything done while playing bridge
is either in accordance with the laws or it is not.


But to "rectify" a situation means to put it right; a situation
cannot be said to have been "put right" if someone suffers or
benefits unduly after the supposed "rectification" has taken
place. The new L12B2 seems to me to be simple nonsense. It could
not be simpler nonsense - that much is true.

Grattan Endicott, 21st December 2007:

+=+ I agree with the first of these paragraphs. Concerning the
second I defer to the definition of 'rectification' in the 2007
Laws. It reads "the remedial provisions to be applied when an
irregularity has come to the Director's attention'. This does not
go as far as 'put right'; it measures short of the dictionary
meaning of the word.
                                 ~ Grattan ~   +=+

Amanuensis David Burn, 21st December 2007:

The trouble is that it falls short of its own definition also. To
"remedy" is:

To cure (a disease, etc.); to put right, reform (a state of
things); to rectify, make good.

{Oxford English Dictionary}

It used also to be:

To grant (one) legal remedy; to right (one) in respect of a wrong


Now, if a "provision to be applied" still leaves some non-
offending party suffering a wrong, then it is not "remedial". It
should be fairly clear that the root of the word is the same as
the root of words such as "medical" - the Latin "mederi", to
heal). It should also be fairly clear that reliance on the
definition in the Laws - "rectification" is "remedial", while to
"remedy" means to "rectify" - is circular and therefore useless.

Don't get me wrong. I am entirely and implacably opposed to the
notion that the rules of any game should have any basis in real-
life notions of what is "equitable". I think that the rules of a
game should determine what is and what is not legal while the
game is being played, and that as long as people operate within
those rules while playing the game, no censure of their morality
or standards of ethical behaviour is appropriate in the least.
That's why people play games, for pity's sake - games are a
momentary escape from life, where we have to judge ourselves and
be judged by others according to vague and woolly notions of what
is "right", or "fair", or "just".

I am on record as saying that the penalty for a revoke should be
death. I didn't entirely mean it, but at least if it were so, the
game would soon be played only by people who could follow suit,
and we would not need several pages of revoke laws.


But there are enough benighted souls out there who think that the
laws of bridge, unlike the laws of any other game in the entire
history of the entire world, should somehow incorporate notions
of "fairness", "justice", "equity" and - may angels and ministers
of grace defend us - "sportsmanship", imported from real life.
The 2007 Laws differ from preceding versions largely to the
extent that they attempt to embody these vague ideas by using
words such as "rectification" instead of "penalty".

So be it. I'm still going to play bridge, and I'm still going to
worry about what the rules say. Even if the rules, reflecting the
opinion of the majority of players and of those currently in
charge of the game's administration, are to be based on the
principles of equity, they still have my full support. I'll give
equitable rulings, and I won't shoot anyone who revokes. But in
the name of all that is wonderful - can't the WBFLC use words I
can understand?

Best wishes

R.J.B. Hills, Aqua 5, workstation W550
Telephone: 02 6223 8453
Email: richard.hills at immi.gov.au
Recruitment Section & DIAC Social Club movie tickets

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