Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What to Say

Words' meanings matter, and even though carelessness with grammar and spelling hardly seems significant, it can be a big deal to be accurate and precise when you are an attorney. This is especially true if you draft legislation, but it also matters in contract drafting and in writing briefs to the court or judicial opinions. Hybrid words, portmanteaux, mondegreens, and crash blossoms are all nefarious traps into which an attorney's writing can fall. But even simple meanings can lead one astray. (Perhaps that's why Scripps, arbiters of the National Spelling Bee, are now introducing a vocabulary bee!)

If you find yourself troubled by words or having trouble with words, stop by the law library to peruse a few good works on law and language.