Category Archives: Uncategorized

Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: judicial; judicious.

judicial; judicious. “Judicial” = (1) of, relating to, or by the court {judicial officers}; (2) in court {judicial admissions}; (3) legal {the Attorney General took no judicial action}; or (4) of or relating to a judgment {judicial interest at the … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: judgment.

judgment. Part A: Spelling. “Judgment” is the preferred form in American English and in British legal texts, even as far back as the 19th century. “Judgement” is prevalent in British nonlegal texts and was thought by H.W. Fowler to be … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #184: Parentheses or em-dashes? How do you decide?

Parentheses or em-dashes? How do you decide? Good writers use parentheses and em-dashes skillfully to tighten and strengthen their prose. Although a writer’s individual style—together with the information or message to be conveyed—determines how these marks are used, some guidelines … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: judge; justice.

judge; justice. In American English, as a general rule, judges sitting on the highest appellate level of a jurisdiction are known as “justices.” Trial judges and appellate judges on intermediate levels are generally called “judges,” not “justices.” New York and … Continue reading

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

Miscellaneous Entries. interface, v.i., is jargonmongers’ talk — e.g.: “This man possesses the ability to interface and relate with people from all social and economic levels.” “Interface” should be left to computerese. intermezzo is pronounced /in-tuhr-MET-soh/ or /in-tuhr-MED-zoh/, but not … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: jodhpur.

jodhpur. “Jodhpur” /JOD-puhr/ derives from the city of Jodhpur, India. The word (almost invariably used in the plural) refers to a type of flared-at-the-thigh pants used in English horse-riding. Through a kind of visual metathesis, the word is often mispronounced … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: jocular; jocose; jocund.

jocular; jocose; jocund. “Jocular” (/JOK-yuh-luhr/) is the most common, but the other two aren’t quite needless variants. “Jocular” and “jocose” (/joh-KOHS/) both mean “given to joking” or “intended jokingly; humorous.” But “jocular” suggests a playful disposition {her jocular manner endeared … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #183: What’s wrong with initial-caps point headings?

LawProse Lesson #183  What’s wrong with initial-caps point headings in briefs?      Two things. First, most lawyers don’t know how to type text in initial caps properly. But second—and far more important—proper point headings must capsulize points. They’re complete … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: jeopardize; jeopard; enjeopard.

jeopardize; jeopard; enjeopard. H.W. Horwill wrote that in American English “‘jeopard’ is preferred to ‘jeopardize,’ the common term in England.” Modern American Usage 178 (2d ed. 1944). This wasn’t true in 1944, and it isn’t true today — e.g.: o … Continue reading

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Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: awful; awfully.

awful; awfully. The word awful has undergone several transformations. Originally, it meant “inspiring or filled with aw.” Its meaning then degenerated to “horrible, terrible” [what an awful accident]. And awfully, meanwhile, became an equivalent of very but with greater intensity … Continue reading

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