U.S. Senator Says Stop Spreading Rumours About Tekken Character Marshall Law

U.S. Senator Says Stop Spreading Rumours About Tekken Character Marshall Law
Photo: L: Drew Angerer (Getty); R: Bandai Namco
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In this time of pandemic and national emergencies, disinformation is a serious problem. That’s why Marco Rubio, the senior United States senator from Florida, wants to make one thing clear during this ongoing crisis: You people need to shut up about Tekken character Marshall Law.

“Please stop spreading stupid rumours about marshall law. COMPLETELY FALSE,” Rubio wrote in a tweet this morning, pinky planted firmly on the Shift key to signal the gravity of the situation. “We will continue to see closings & restrictions on hours of non-essential businesses in certain cities & states. But that is NOT marshall law.”

Marco Rubio" loading="lazy" > Screenshot: Marco Rubio

Indeed it is not. Marshall Law, or just Law to his friends, is a Jeet Kune Do practitioner introduced to the Tekken series in its inaugural 1994 outing. He was heavily based on real-life martial artist Bruce Lee, but eventually became a mustachioed father figure after being replaced by his son Forest Law in 1997’s Tekken 3. (Rubio did not mention Forest in his tweet.)

I’m not quite sure what Marshall Law has to do with novel coronavirus strain covid-19. He’s not real, for starters, and I don’t remember seeing anyone start rumours about him online. Much of his time is spent training students at his personal dojo. Come to think of it, Law did start a fast food business called Marshall China in Tekken 4, so maybe that’s where Rubio got mixed up?

It’s also possible that the senator does not know how to spell “martial law.”

In any case, it’s important to look to our leaders for guidance in these troubling times.


  • hur hur spelling mistakes aside, and not commenting on the appropriateness or otherwise of the policy, but if it looks like a duck and acts like a duck it’s probably a duck.

    Restaurants, theatres and casinos all compulsorily closed. No gatherings of more than 50 people. Home detention for at least 14 days without trial. Empty streets.

    Umm, yeah, Marco Rubio might not personally want to call it martial law but referring to something by only the politician’s preferred legally binding definition is not how language works.

    Just like I have no choice to stop people using the word “less” when they really mean “fewer”.

    • until the military is litterally patrolling down the streets, then no marshal law is not happening. not even Aid to Civil Powers has been initiated. Even the LA Riots didnt have marshal law enacted, but it Aid to Civil Powers was with the national guard being called up.

    • Part of me really wanted to respond to your “less vs fewer” statement with the general “common usage” argument. I thought it wouldn’t really add to the conversation, so I didn’t.

      But then I did some googling on the subject and it turns out the “rule” of less only being for non-countable nouns was first established as a preference in 1770 and there’s plenty of evidence both before and after that of less being used for countables. https://archive.org/details/merriamwebstersd00merr/page/592

      So it turns out you should not be correcting people using the word “less”, becuase it’s fine in place of “fewer”. (Although, not the other way around, that is clearly all sorts of wrong)

      • I think I was making the common usage argument, was I not?

        Regardless, the rule has always been a little more flexible in American English, and creeping Americanisation of the language certainly explains why it has fallen out of favour in Oxford-English countries such as Australia. For what it’s worth, the Merriam-Webster is an American dictionary and not an authoritative source of English in Commonwealth countries.

        Regardless, even the Merriam-Webster says
        Less has been used this way for well over a thousand years—nearly as long as there’s been a written English language. But for more than 200 years almost every usage writer and English teacher has declared such use to be wrong. https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/fewer-vs-less

        • I may have misinterpreted you, but I thought having no choice but to correct people seemed very anti-common-use when “less” is pretty commonly used in place of “fewer”.

          You do make a fair point about American vs Oxford English, which I hadn’t considered.

          Although I do think that despite people teaching this as a “rule”, it hasn’t really caught on in common usage, so can you really consider it a “rule”?
          Then again, you can make that argument against pretty much any rule in the English language and at this point, the whole thing starts to lose focus. Like everything: If you’re a native speaker your best bet is to be guided by your ear, choosing the word that sounds more natural in a particular context.

          • Short version of my original post:

            In popular usage the term ‘martial law’ reasonably describes curfews, closures, empty streets, involuntary detention. If Marco Rubio (or @thyco ) prefers to use the legal definition that’s up to them but it doesn’t make people using a more popular and less legalistic definition incorrect.

            Similarly, I don’t personally like people using “less” instead of “fewer”, but I don’t get to choose how people use the terms any more than Marco Rubio does.

            My post was largely trigged by the constant need for politicians to invoke Orwellian double speak to pretend they are doing something they different to what they self evidentially are doing by redefining the language. Kind of like calling speed cameras “road safety cameras” even though all they are monitoring is speed, and how all “workchoices” means is cutting people’s pay and conditions.

          • Right. I’d gotten those main points, but somehow missed the way you were connecting yourself to Marco Rubio. Which, now that I read back your original comment, was blindingly obvious.
            I feel kinda silly for taking the punchline so seriously. But hey, I had a decent conversation on the internet, something that seems less common these days.

  • An article about a typo in a tweet. Fucking quality right here.
    >hurr but it’s video game related
    BARELY. This is bottom of the barrel content right here, even for Kotaku. The biggest story here is that a politician can’t spell, and that’s neither video games or japanese culture, or even blogging.

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