Thursday, May 28, 2009

What's "assumpsit" mean?

Being obsessed with people's career development, especially my own, I read blog archives. They are a great way to watch the progression, the transmogrification (btw, if anybody has any pull with Transmogriflaw, please ask her to post an update, or start a new blog, or get permission to post an update about her, even, maybe?). This kinda sucks because I totally want to comment on somebody's observation from three years ago. I feel like I'm hobnobbing with ghosts.

So, define "assumpsit". Who cares, right?

It's a word. And it matters. I love that it matters. I love that a WORD matters. I love that Prof. Warren's first utterance on the first day of her 1L class at Harvard is something along the lines of "Explain what the first word in the case means." And the first word is "assumpsit".

Sigh. (...the kind of sigh where you smile and gaze up longingly at someone, like a real dork, exactly the kind of dork that should be beaten up on a daily basis, just as Tranny says.)

Of course, it's easy to love from a distance, with nothing at stake personally. As long as she's asking somebody else, it's wonderfully thrilling. Not that I'll ever meet her (she'd chew me up and spit me out if she even bothered to breathe the same air as me) or step foot anywhere near HLS, nor do I deserve to, but still...aaahhhh...that is cool. I must remember how cool I think that is. I must remember how much I love words, and how much they matter.


blognut said...

Did I miss something? I thought you were going to tell me what 'assumpsit' means.

Now I wanna know?

gudnuff said...

Are you SURE you wanna know? ...'cause here is where the lustre is lost. Read on if you dare!

"Assumpsit is an express or implied agreement to perform an oral contract. An express assumpsit is where one undertakes verbally or in writing, not under seal, or on record, to perform an act, or to pay a sum of money to another.

An implied assumpsit is where one has not made any formal promise to do an act or to pay a sum of money to another, but who is presumed from his conduct to have assumed an obligation to do the just and fair thing. Common or indebitatus assumpsit is brought for the most part on an implied promise. Special assumpsit is founded on an express promise or undertaking."

...according to

Boiled way down to the barest element, as far as my untrained eye can tell, "assumpsit" is a promise to do something or pay something. Maybe you can say that "assumpsit" is an assumption that you will do or pay, and it can either be explicitly expressed or tacitly expressed through conduct? Now I'm embarrassing myself, I suspect, and so I shall shut up.

ByJane said...

This is what I love about blogging. Someone I've never heard of leaves a comment on mine so I go to hers to see what she's about and--whammee!--I won't say I'm in love because I'm not that easy, but it sure is nice to read a thinker.

Hyphen Mama said...

Awe, you bring back the days of playing Drunken Dictionary. The good 'ole days pre-children. I cannot wait for my kids to be old enough to play Dictionary (albeit SOBER Dictionary).

I miss feeling smart.