This is another word that you’d think everyone understands given how frequently it is used, but most people would be hard-pressed to explain it. Here’s what you should know. Although syncopation in music can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, the most common meaning is when the musical emphasis falls where you don’t expect it, making the line sound off-beat and disturbing the rhythm in a way that actually sounds better. For example, with a song in regular 4/4 rhythm, you can count “1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and” before repeating, […]

Habeas Corpus

Good old habeas corpus, where would we be without you? The Great Writ. The hallmark of our justice system. Everyone knows it’s proof of our advanced and just society and we’re sure glad we have it, even if most of us have no idea what it is. Not to worry, here’s what you should know. Habeas corpus is a constitutional right that provides protection against unlawful or improper detention. It is from Medieval Latin and means “that you have the body”. The complete phrase habeas corpus ad subjiciendum means “that […]

Why Miranda?

If you grew up with a television in the house, you know what Miranda means. You know that suspected criminals have rights, and police need to read them these rights before questioning them, and they call these the Miranda rights. But who or what was Miranda? Sounds like something you should already know, doesn’t it? The Miranda Warning is given by police in the United States to advise criminal suspects in custody of their Miranda Rights, i.e. that they have the right to have a lawyer present when being questioned […]