Black's Law Dictionary Second Edition
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
I N THE preparation of the present edition of this work, the author has taken pains, in response to a general demand in that behalf, to incorporate a very great number of additional citations to decided cases, in which the terms or phrases of the law have been judicially defined. The general plan, however, has not been to quote seriatim a number of such judicial definitions under each title or heading, but rather to frame a definition, or a series of alternative definitions, expressive of the best and clearest thinking and most accurate statements in the reports, and to cite in support of it a liberal selection of the best decisions, giving the preference to those in which the history of the word or phrase, in respect to its origin and use, is reviewed, or in which a large number of other decisions are cited. The author has also taken advantage of the opportunity to subject the entire work to a thorough revision, and has entirely rewritten many of the definitions, either because his fresh study of the subject-matter or the helpful criticism of others had disclosed minor inaccuracies in them, or because he thought they could profitably be expanded or made more explicit, or because of new uses or meanings of the term. There have also been included a large number of new titles. Some of these are old terms of the law which had previously been overlooked, a considerable number are Latin and French words, ancient or modern, not heretofore inserted, and the remainder are terms new to the law, or which have come into use since the first edition was published, chiefly growing out of the new developments in the social, industrial, commercial, and political life of the people. Particularly in the department of medical jurisprudence, the work has been enriched by the addition of a great number of definitions which are of constant interest and importance in the courts. Even in the course of the last few years medical science has made giant strides, and the new discoveries and theories have brought forth a new terminology, which is not only much more accurate but also much richer than the old; and in all the fields where law and medicine meet we now daily encounter a host of terms and phrases which, no more than a decade ago, were utterly unknown. This is true—to cite but a few examples—of the new terminology of insanity, of pathological and criminal psychology, the innumerable forms of nervous disorders, the new tests and reactions, bacteriology, toxicology, and so on. In this whole department I have received much valuable assistance from my friend Dr. Fielding H. Garrison, of this city, to whose wide and thorough scientific learning I here pay cheerful tribute, as well as to his constant and obliging readiness to place at the command of his friends the resources of his well-stored mind. Notwithstanding all these additions, it has been possible to keep the work within the limits of a single volume, and even to avoid materially increasing its bulk, by a new system of arrangement, which involves grouping all compound and descriptive terms and phrases under the main heading or title from which they are radically derived or with which they are conventionally associated, substantially in accordance with the plan adopted in the Century Dictionary and most other modern works of reference. H. C. B.
WASHINGTON, D. C, December 1, 1910.
- WEST PUBLISHING CO. 1910, October 2012
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