(EN) (PDF) – Plain English for Lawyers | Richard C. Wydick


We lawyers cannot write plain English. We use eight words to say what could be said in two. We use old, arcdne phrases to express commonplace ideas. Seeking to be precise, we become redundant. Seeking to be cautious, we become verbose. Our sentences twist on, phrase within clause within clause, glazing the eyes and numbing the minds of our readers. The result is a writing style that has, according to one critic, four outstanding characteristics. It is: “wordy, unclear, pompous, and dull.” Criticism of lawyers’ writing is nothing new. In 1596 an English chancellor decided to make an example of a particularly prolix document filed in his court. The chancellor first ordered a hole cut through the center of the document, all 120 pages of it. Then he ordered that the person who wrote it should have his head stuffed through the hole, and the unfortunate fellow was led around to be …

PDF file, 41 pages

via Legal Writing and Research Commons

Shared by Наталья Самойленко on Школа отраслевых переводчиков “Альянс ПРО”

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