Razumich & Delamater May 2020

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MAYPOLES, MAYFLIES, AND THE MAYFLOWER Celebrating May’s Impact on the English Language

As I’m writing this, it’s March 25, and the Governor’s “shelter in place” order has been in effect for about 15 hours. It’s my hope that by the time this reaches you, the worst of the current health crisis will be beyond us. These are difficult times, moreso for a practice that focuses on protecting the accused. Many of our clients have had their cases continued until at least May, and we’re doing the best that we can to provide answers regarding issues of bail and release from custody. Like many businesses, my team is largely working from home right now. I want to stress that we ARE working, we ARE addressing your concerns as quickly as ever, and we are STILL HERE to protect your future and your freedom. It’s easy to give into despair at these times, but we want everyone to know that we are prepared to continue fighting to protect your rights. Criminal charges don’t go away, and it’s important to keep focused on making sure that you aren’t treated harshly by an indifferent legal system. Hopefully this article will seem dated when we hit publication. If it’s not, we are still here for you.

to using m’aidez , which means “help me.” Soon, the English added their own spin, deciphering the phrase as “mayday.”The new phrase went global thanks to bulletins posted in popular publications, and today, it’s known as a worldwide distress signal. Not to be confused with the international phrase for help, May Day is a cultural celebration dating back millennia. For some cultures, May Day, traditionally held on May 1, is an important day signifying the halfway point of the year. Other cultures celebrate and honor fertility on May Day with maypoles that represent male fertility and wreaths and ribbons that depict female fertility.

There are many reasons to celebrate in May. Among thanking Mom, honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country, and embarking on postgraduation adventures, there’s no shortage of importance when it comes to May. And the English language makes this pretty clear. Check out these unique facts about English words or phrases that use the word “may.” AVOIDING MAYDAY ON MAY DAY About 100 years ago, the English and French faced quite a dilemma. As aircraft paths were more frequently crossing the English Channel, the countries needed to develop a distress signal that could be easily distinguished over the radio. While SOS was commonly used by armies across the globe as a sign of mayhem, “S” sounds were hard to hear over the radio. The French reverted

-John Razumich and Joe Delamater

Today, May Day celebrations continue in their traditional format, while some people

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