leech mode = L = legalese

legal adj.

Loosely used to mean `in accordance with all the relevant rules', esp. in connection with some set of constraints defined by software. "The older =+ alternate for += is no longer legal syntax in ANSI C." "This parser processes each line of legal input the moment it sees the trailing linefeed." Hackers often model their work as a sort of game played with the environment in which the objective is to maneuver through the thicket of `natural laws' to achieve a desired objective. Their use of `legal' is flavored as much by this game-playing sense as by the more conventional one having to do with courts and lawyers. Compare language lawyer, legalese.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

A paper size used in the United States, measuring 8.5 inches by 14 inches. Slightly longer than letter.

Lawyers may have been the first to use paper with dimensions close to this, hence the name. It certainly was in common legal usage until recently. Ironically, most jurisdictions accept only letter sized papers for filings and depositions. In those jurisdictions, it is against the law to use legal-sized paper for purposes of law.

A running joke: lawyers use legal size because they need 14 inches to say what ordinary folks can fit in 11. (Cecil Adams, "The Straight Dope")

Le"gal (?), a. [L. legalis, fr. lex, legis, law; prob. orig., that which lies or is fixed (cf. L. lectus bed), and if so akin to E. lie, law: cf. F. l'egal. Cf. Lie to be prostrate, Loyal, Leal.]


Created by, permitted by, in conformity with, or relating to, law; as, a legal obligation; a legal standard or test; a legal procedure; a legal claim; a legal trade; anything is legal which the laws do not forbid.

2. Theol. (a)

According to the law of works, as distinguished from free grace; or resting on works for salvation.


According to the old or Mosaic dispensation; in accordance with the law of Moses

3. Law

Governed by the rules of law as distinguished from the rules of equity; as, legal estate; legal assets.

Bouvier. Burrill.

Legal cap. See under Cap. -- Legal tender. (a) The act of tendering in the performance of a contract or satisfaction of a claim that which the law prescribes or permits, and at such time and place as the law prescribes or permits. (b) That currency, or money, which the law authorizes a debtor to tender and requires a creditor to receive. It differs in different countries.

Syn. -- Lawful; constitutional; legitimate; licit; authorized. See Lawful.


© Webster 1913.

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