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LawProse Lesson #188: A few additional editing tips.

A few additional editing tips. In our last two lessons, we explained the LawProse editing method in general (Lesson #186), and we recommended changing be-verbs to action verbs (Lesson #187). Before we give you a full passage to edit on … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: laissez-faire; laisser-faire.

laissez-faire; laisser-faire. The former spelling has long been standard. Some British publications, however, continue to use the outmoded spelling (“laisser”) — e.g.: o “Should Hongkong’s laisser-faire [read 'laissez-faire'] government do an about-face to build Hongkong Inc?” “Farewell to Adam Smith,” … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: lady.

lady. This word has become increasingly problematic. Though hardly anyone would object to it in the phrase “ladies and gentlemen” or on a restroom sign, most other uses of the term might invite disapproval — depending on the readers’ or … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: laden.

laden. Part A: As a Past Participle Equivalent to “loaded.” “Laden” survives today as a participial adjective {a laden barge} and not as a past participle. To use “laden” as a part of the verb phrase is to be guilty … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries.

Miscellaneous Entries. introductory should never be used in the phrase “be introductory of” (something); one should instead write “introduce” — e.g.: “This first section is introductory of [read "introduces"] some of the tenets that constitute part of that framework.” As … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: lacuna.

lacuna. “Lacuna” is a formal word for “gap” — e.g.: o “‘London Bridge’ . . . isn’t likely to answer the question, since it simply fills a literary lacuna.” Book Rev., “Celine Away,” Village Voice, 11 July 1995, at 12. … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #187: More on legal editing.

More on legal editing: changing be-verbs to action verbs. In last week’s lesson—an overview of the LawProse editing method—we recommended converting be-verbs into stronger verbs. (See Lesson #186.) Be-verbs lack the punch of action verbs. Overusing weakens your prose, diluting … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: lachrymose; lacrimose.

lachrymose; lacrimose. This word, meaning “tearful,” is generally spelled “lachrymose,” which is about 200 times as common as “lacrimose” in modern print sources. Both forms have ancient origins: the classical Latin term is “lacrima” (= teardrop), but the “-chry-” spelling … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Labour Party; Labor Party.

Labour Party; Labor Party. In Great Britain, the spelling is “Labour Party”; in Australia, the spelling is “Labor Party.” How should Americans spell the name of the British party? Most newspapers Americanize the spelling, making it “Labor,” but the better … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Miscellaneous Entries.

Miscellaneous Entries. intimidatable. So formed — e.g.: “Sloan was perhaps the least intimidatable player in league history.” Ray Ratto, “Nobody Sings the Blues Louder Than the Jazz,” News & Observer (Raleigh), 6 June 1997, at C1. intramural = conducted within … Continue reading

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