In reading what now passes for a headnote in most of the cases reported by Carswell, I came across the phrase, “efforts and exhortions”. See Dumbrell v. Regional Group of Companies Inc. (2007), 25 B.L.R. (4th) 171. I had originally thought that I might post this neologism—if that’s what such a collection of letters can be called—and invite members of Slaw to add any others they might come across from any legal source.
On a whim, I did a search in CanLII for “exhortions” and, to my surprise, discovered that there were over 400 cases where this word appeared to have been used. When I checked a very small sample of the cases, CanLII had actually found the quite unexceptional word, “exhortation”. It seems bizarre to me that a search for a single word—whether a valid word or a random collection of letters—would lead to a list of a large number of cases where not only is the word not used but another word is. This experience makes me very nervous; what other things might screw up a search and make the result useless? Is this the only “word” or, more accurately, collection of letters, that is so treated by CanLii’s search engine?
By the way, the invitation still stands. It has a loose connection to David’s anguished cry regarding the poor standards of research and argument and might vividly illustrate the poor standards of, inter alia, judicial writing, editing and reporting. There are, for example, over 300 instances in CanLII—there are over twice as many in QL—where the phrase “contra proferentem” is misspelled as “contra proferentum”.