Weaver’s curious “not/not”s and novel remedy

A few days ago, I had commented on Andrew Weaver’s utterances of some “very conservative” (his depiction, not mine) projections. I might well have missed his prophetic pronouncements had he not decided to widely circulate the April 20 Statement of Claim* pertaining to his allegations of defamation against The National Post.

* Not only has his SoC been widely circulated, but its filename seems to have miraculously morphed from “Weaver vs Corcoran.pdf” (which is what it was when I found it on April 22, and to which I had linked in my above-mentioned post) to “andrew weaver statement of claim.pdf” – which presumably is the new, improved filename it acquired sometime between April 22 and today.

Both files originated from same directory on the same server. They bear the same timestamp and meta data. Both appear to have been scanned and both are comprised of 48 pages of images. The text in the images is, well, slanted … to the left. But I digress …

Now, I’m not a lawyer, nor am I scientist. But I am a “pre-post-modernist” English major. One might say that I’m an ordinary, reasonable reader with a fair command of the inferential – as well as the natural and ordinary – meaning(s) of words. Consequently, I found it somewhat curious that Weaver’s claims include several paragraphs that begin as follows:

“The plaintiff did not/not” (sic)

To be fair, some of these paragraphs begin with “The plaintiff has”, “The plaintiff does”, and at least one commences with “The plaintiff is” … but each of these phrases is immediately followed by a “not/not“.

When I went to school, a “not/not” was written as “not not” (whether underlined or not) and was considered to be a double-negative. Furthermore, the natural and ordinary meaning of a double-negative invariably (and unequivocally) implied an affirmative! I’m obviously dating myself, but I must confess that this was in the days before “new math” and post-normal science – with its “very conservative” practitioners and their “cautious” turns of phrase, such as barrage of intergalactic missiles“barrage of intergalactic ballistic missiles” (sorry, I had misquoted)

Amongst his wishlist of “Relief Claimed”, Weaver is seeking a rather novel remedy: he wants the defendants to “assist” him in “obtaining the removal of electronic copies” of the alleged defamatory statements.

Yet, Weaver, himself (albeit via counsel who, if I’m not mistaken, is duty-bound to act on his client’s instructions), has chosen not only to draw attention to his suit (by widely circulating a Press Release), but also to ensure that the alleged defamations are further (if not more widely) circulated by virtue of his choice to make them public – and electronically available to all and sundry!

That being the case, am I the only one who finds this “remedy” somewhat incongruous?!

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