Can You Define “Tocologist”? How About “Polystyrene”?
You can learn so many new vocabulary words by tracking legislation in the Missouri General Assembly. “Tocology,” otherwise known as “midwifery,” made the news in 2007 when legislators accidentally legalized the practice because they didn’t know what the word meant.
Now, it turns out that a law intended to ban Styrofoam coolers on lakes and rivers really prohibits hard plastic containers, like Tupperware. Fortunately, the Missouri Water Patrol says it will ignore this law.
I’m confused by this statement in the Kansas City Star editorial about the mix-up:
The mistake was especially disappointing because the government was trying to tell the public how to behave, in this case to protect the environment.
Don’t all laws “try to tell the public how to behave”? I find this mistake less disappointing than others, because it was caught promptly and won’t be enforced.