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Why Prolixity Does Not Produce Clarity: Francis Lieber on Plain Language

The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing, pp. 108-114, 2007

Posted: 10 Sep 2011  

Nelson P. Miller

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School

Date Written: January 1, 2007

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Miller, Nelson P., Why Prolixity Does Not Produce Clarity: Francis Lieber on Plain Language (January 1, 2007). The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing, pp. 108-114, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1890689

Nelson Pierce Miller (Contact Author)

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School ( email )

111 Commerce S.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.cooley.edu/faculty/miller_nelson.html

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