But if listing have shoved <seven> of the little bastards in your courtroom

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zhaugust

Senior Member
Chinese
Does this Seven have special meaning in this sentence? Seven sins? Thank you!

But if listing have shoved seven of the little bastards in your courtroom, that is seven lots of incomplete, incomprehensible and disordered bundles of evidence (at anything up to 200 pages each) that you have to re-order, interpret and somehow prepare for trial.---The Secret Barrister
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    That's not a complete sentence. Would the rest of it make any difference?

    If I had to make a wild guess, the author is confusing the seven dwarfs of fairy tale with the twelve red-bearded dwarfs who were shoved into the courtroom of Mr Justice Cocklecarrot in the comic newspaper column of Beachcomber. The author might have remembered the story and forgotten the number. But that is just a (pretty wild) guess.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    That's not a complete sentence. Would the rest of it make any difference?
    It is a complete, though complicated, sentence: "If listing have shoved seven [cases] in your courtroom, that is seven lots of [...] evidence [...] that you have to [...] prepare for trial."

    It seems possible to me that the normal court-load for a duty barrister is about seven cases per day ???
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I have the advantage of having read the book:

    But if listing – Listings – the court listing service – a office whose responsibility it is to arrange the dates and times of trials.
    have shoved -> to shove = to assign without much care
    seven -> the number 7 as a quantifier
    of the little bastards = of the defendants in trials for petty or sordid crimes
    in your courtroom, -> into the courtroom in which you will be appearing
    that is = that means that there are
    seven lots of incomplete, incomprehensible and disordered bundles of evidence (at anything up to 200 pages each)
    that you have to re-order, interpret and somehow prepare for trial.---The Secret Barrister

    (Crossposted.)
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    My guess (and I will defer to Paul, who has read the book) is that "seven" is just the largest number of cases (or perhaps it is the number of defendants in the same case) the writer has ever seen listed, a larger number than can reasonably be dealt with. Any connection with any other seven is just a coincidence.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Yes - the use of "7" is simply an example of a large number. Taking the example as a whole, it is saying that, in seeing its sole purpose as getting through the maximum number of cases in a day, the listings office places an unrealistic/ridiculous work-load on barristers (and the court).
     
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