Why Prolixity Does Not Produce Clarity: Francis Lieber on Plain Language
Nelson P. Miller
Western Michigan University Cooley Law School
January 1, 2007
The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing, pp. 108-114, 2007
This article in the Scribes Journal of Legal Writing uses writings of the early 19th-century law scholar Francis Lieber to illustrate why multiplying words tends to obscure rather than clarify the meaning of legal writings. Description is inherently ambiguous because of the unique perspective of every writer and reader. More words tends to inject greater uncertainty rather than clarifying meanings.
Keywords: plain language, words, uncertainty, Lieber
Date posted: September 10, 2011
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