Osgoode Hall Law Journal


Madeline Boyce

Document Type

Book Note


ORDINARY MEANING IS A COMPREHENSIVE LOOK at the “ordinary meaning doctrine” used by courts to interpret language. The ordinary meaning doctrine is the “judicial commitment to interpreting language in legal texts according to its ‘ordinary meaning.’”2 This interpretation is based on an objective standard: the meaning of a word can exist independently of differing opinions of that meaning.3 This book argues that the current system used by judges in the United States fails to attain the goal of deciphering the ordinary meaning of words.4 Slocum argues that the ordinary meaning doctrine has not been examined in great depth,5 and offers a framework for how legal interpretation of ordinary meaning should be established.6

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