Words! Words! Words!: Teaching the Language of Tax
Stephen B. Cohen
Georgetown University Law Center
Journal of Legal Education, Vol. 55, No. 4, 2006
Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 887404
Georgetown Law and Economics Research Paper No. 887404
Experienced tax lawyers deal easily with the ambiguous and imprecise terms that pervade tax law and discourse because they understand the intended meaning of a word from context. For students, however, the subtle ways in which meaning depends on context are far from obvious. A teacher of tax therefore must also be a teacher of language. The tax teacher can warn students about confusing terms and suggest alternative words that are more precise. The ultimate goal should be to impart fluency not only in these more precise words but also paradoxically in the ambiguous and imprecise terms that are the source of confusion but with which tax lawyers (for better or worse) continue to write and speak.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 5
JEL Classification: A20, H20Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 3, 2006
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