Thoughtful legal writers generally do a good job of eliminating unnecessary uses of passive voice. So why is their writing still so abstract and dense? The culprit is nominalizations, or
So, lawyers ask me pretty regularly what the deal is with split infinitives. The deal is this: splitting infinitives is perfectly acceptable according to every respected style authority. (Grammar Girl has a nice explanation of what a split infinitive is.) But (yes, there had to be a but) plenty of very, shall we say, senior attorneys and judges persist in condemning infinitive splitters as unsophisticated writers.
Does it drive you crazy when pedants say it drives them crazy when people start a sentence with hopefully? Well, it does me. I've always felt it was perfectly fine to begin a sentence with hopefully. And it turns out I'm in good company.
Mark Zuckerberg has had a big week, what with the IPO and his surprise backyard wedding. In the midst of all the hooplah, he's probably barely noticed that his writing style, as revealed in a leaked email, has been critiqued online. (Thanks to @GrammarGirl for tweeting about the now infamous email.) In the email, which he wrote back in 2005, he explains his plan to squeeze Eduardo Saverin, a co-founder of Facebook, out of the company. (The poor guy got royally shafted -- his shares are worth only $5 billion.) The email, first published on Business Insider, has come under fire for its sloppy writing style as well as its sleazy substance. To give you [...]
Tebow Tebowing (image from www.andpop.com) It's been a while, but pls clarify is now officially back in action, and residing at the new and improved website for Rosky Legal Education. I've posted before on the verbification of nouns, especially techie nouns like blog. Imagine my surprise when I opened the NY Times this weekend and saw this heading on the front page: He
It’s been way too long!
Rupert Murdoch is in hot water. The British public is calling for blood after revelations that his tabloid, News of the World, used illegal and unethical means — hacking a missing teen’s cell phone and paying cops for information — to obtain material for stories.
Surely it would be invoking the famous Mark Twain line right about now: The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. Twitter was aflutter this week with rumors that the Oxford comma, aka the serial comma, has been abandoned by the very institution that gave it its name: Oxford University Press. Here
No grammatical justification for using
So sayeth Bryan Garner, as explained in