Epithetical jurisprudence is an easy way out of difficulty. Find some term to the use of which established law has commonly attached a consequence; apply that term to the fact situation at hand; the legal consequence is automatically determined. If it happens that the new fact situation is not quite like those to which the term has previously been applied, the term has unobtrusively acquired a new significance; but the forms of logical decision have been followed. One perennial illustration of that epithetical process is the judicial determination that a particular search or seizure is "reasonable" or "unreasonable" epithets whose precise meaning in that connection appears never to have been defined.
J. B. W.,
SEARCHES AND SEIZURES-THE CRITERION OF REASONABLENESS,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol42/iss1/8