I am coming to the end of my research on Copyright and other human liberties along with freedom of expression guaranteed by copyright and the first amendment. And here we have a typical abuse of it.

I doubt a lawsuit would work. What is copyrighted is the “form” of the expression, phrase or whatever the work is. The form cannot be ONE word in a phrase even of TWO or THREE. The form is the whole phrase not one little part of it. The ideas and facts are not protected only the form. And even so there is fair use which could argue on the four criteria defined by the 1976 Copyright Act.

I do not defend Trump. The use of a fetish word is typical of populism and some might say lexical limitation. But I cannot see the point in this lawsuit that would end up banning anyone else from using the word. Since the word was NOT created by the METS they cannot pretend it is theirs and theirs only, at least for 95 years after the first public use (publication) or copyright acquisition. I would even say this pretension is misappropriation of the word.

But it is funny how this case proves, if it is true, that Trump and his lexicon are not an asset in Queens. But that will not be considered as myth or history breaking like the overuse of “awesome” by the Winchester brothers.

Some pretend that when we use the phrase (not one word) “wild goose chase” we quote Shakespeare without knowing. This is absurd and it freezes not only my five wits but all my twelve wits when counting the unconscious apostolic ones.


“Nay, if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five. Was I with you there for the goose?” — Mercutio

Written by

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, PhD in Germanic Linguistics (University Lille III) and ESP Teaching (University Bordeaux II) has been teaching all types of ESP

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