Should there be a patent attorney on the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel?

I think there is an impression among patent attorneys that the Supreme Court is keeping watch over them, their wily ways, and any linguistic attempts to evade Supreme Court precedent. (In actuality, I think the Supreme Court has historically had its eye on clever draftsmanship in multiple areas of the law.)

Well, If the above is true, nobody appears to have told the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel. The American Heritage Dictonary Usage Panel is a 200 member body that is tasked with holding court on the American-English language:

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. Annual surveys have gauged the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions. (emphasis added).

The list of panelists is accessible here: [Link].

Can you believe it — there are no patent attorneys on this list! One of the few professions tasked with being a neologist and we didn’t make the cut.

I did see a cartoonist on the list, though.

Calvin: “What’s a pronoun?”

Hobbes: “A noun that has lost its amateur status.”

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