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 Trial of the century

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kosovohp
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Join date : 2010-09-28

PostSubject: Trial of the century   Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:53 pm

Trial of the century is an idiomatic phrase used to describe certain well-known court cases, especially of the 20th century. It is often used popularly as a rhetorical device to attach importance to a trial and as such is not an objective observation but is the opinion of whoever uses it. As attorney F. Lee Bailey and The Washington Post observed in 1999 on the eve of the closing century:
Calling court cases "the trial of the century" is a traditional bit of American hyperbole, like calling a circus "The Greatest Show on Earth." Nearly every juicy tabloid trial in our history was called the "trial of the century" by somebody. "Every time I turn around, there's a new trial of the century," says defense attorney F. Lee Bailey. "It's a kind of hype," he says. "It's a way of saying, 'This is really fabulous. It's really sensational.' But it doesn't really mean anything."[1]
The first trial to be called the "trial of the century" was in 1907 when Harry K. Thaw was tried for the murder of Stanford White[1]. Irvin S. Cobb, a contemporary reporter, explained why the trial fascinated the country so much:

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