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Letter: Absurd traditions have their place

|Written By Donald Campbell

Canadians enjoy their reputation for civility. One element of any proper notion of civility is the degree to which it embraces difference.

While in some respects, I suppose, oddities and throwbacks in nomenclature might be regarded as absurd, absurdity is part of the human experience and therefore surely deserves a place in any concept of civility.

One would be hard-pressed to argue against that proposition when the absurdity in question is innocent and adds a little colour, poetry, and flair to the landscape.

The Law Society of Upper Canada’s name does just that. It is a poetic, organic name that’s pioneering in spirit and full of confidence and hope. Its antiquity gives it a rich patina and a noble colour.

It rises from the lips with a hint of insouciance. It is redolent of a certain old-world aplomb. It hints at a disdain for the trivialities that animate mere marketers, politicians, and policy wonks.

The name Law Society of Upper Canada unselfconsciously captures what the LSUC itself represents: dignity, discipline, continuity, and confidence.

Some say the Law Society of Upper Canada ought to reflect the name of our jurisdiction. Well, it does so historically, in fact. It matters not that the name of our jurisdiction has changed repeatedly in the meantime.

Consistency of nomenclature is no virtue except, perhaps, for the dull and the bureaucratic. Engineered nomenclature, like the strict, mindless application of the rules of phonics to traditional pronunciation, saps the life out of things, especially a culture.

The Law Society of Upper Canada’s name gives rise to no confusion. If there is confusion, let those who are confused be embarrassed by their ignorance and learn.

The name gives no offence. If it does, let those who are offended learn to know the difference.

Let our name remain as it is.

Donald Campbell
Ottawa

For more, see "Should LSUC change its name?" and "Time to change LSUC name."

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