Tag Archives: LPL

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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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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An Introduction to Legal Editing

“Please edit this.” Have you been asked this before by a friend, colleague, or supervising partner? What kind of edits do they want? Suggestions for content? Corrections of punctuation, spelling, or grammar? It can be a difficult and frustrating request. … 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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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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LawProse Lesson #182: “Home in” and *”hone in.”

Home in and *hone in. Home in is the correct phrase, meaning “to proceed toward (a target)” or “direct attention to (a thing, idea, or objective)” {after flying a few miles, the pigeon homed in on the cage} {in the … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #181: Grammar and usage resources.

Grammar and usage resources. Which grammar books are most useful? People frequently ask this question. Perhaps the most compendious treatment can be found in my own chapter five of The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed. 2010). That chapter, which … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #180: Conjunctions as sentence-starters

There are certain bits of knowledge that distinguish connoisseurs from poseurs, professionals from dilettantes, cognoscenti from wannabes. In the realm of grammar and writing, it tends to be the sureness that sentence-starting conjunctions are perfectly acceptable and often desirable (connoisseurs), … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #179: “As such”

As such. Have you noticed the epidemic of poor usage involving as such? In this phrase, such is a pronoun requiring an antecedent. Here are two examples: Ex.: The lawyer did not intend to write a derogatory review of the … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #178: Do you know Standard American Punctuation?

Do you know Standard American Punctuation? Let’s take a well-written paragraph—one that shows some linguistic savvy—and remove all the punctuation. Can you punctuate it meaningfully? Capitalize as necessary to begin sentences. “In the end given so much evidence to the … Continue reading

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