The Legal Writint Prof Blog recently shared this quote:
“The following quote is from Peter Gross’s article, “On law School Training in Analytical Skill,” which was published more than 30 years ago:
“Legal Writing often is viewed as a separable and peripheral subject—one identified with a knowledge of legal materials and of composition. But in fact, “[the process of legal] writing is basically 85 percent analysis and 15 percent composition; and “criticism of law student writing] . . . generally relates as much to defects in thinking as to faults in expression” Legal writing is no less than the principal medium for the expression of, and hence for practice in, legal analysis 25 J. Legal Educ. 261 (1972-73).
- Professor Laurel Oates, Seattle University”
A substitute for the word “use” to be employed when you want to make something sound more important or difficult than it really is.
Person says: “We utilize an alphabetical schematic to organize our records.”
Translate: “We file documents alphabetically.”
The good folk at Language Log offer a new name for a problem that I would have called abandoned acronyms: orphaned initialisms.
But, the reason I raise this here is that we (all of you and I) can develop a list of orphaned legalisms and forever eliminate them from legal documents.
I nominate as No. 1 on the list: devise
This word has for more than a century appeared tied to give and bequeath.
But it was only briefly required in Scotland by a specific piece of legislation that dealt with the transfer of real property (read: land and attachments). But it was taken up throughout the Commonwealth because the Scots had a habit of emigrating while maintaining claims to land back in Scotland.
When the property conveyance statute was repealed (after a very short period of time, as I recall, maybe a decade) nobody told the drafters around the world that they could stop using devise in order to ensure that the will would succesfully transfer real property in Scotland.
So, death to devise!