On the Values of Words
Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, Vol. 23, Pp. 264-272, 2019.
10 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2019 Last revised: 19 May 2019
Date Written: January 30, 2019
Mary Norris's Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen and Kory Stamper's Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries use observations about language as a touchstone for a nuanced examination of language, culture, and law in a changing world. In so doing, they point to deeper truths about the use of language and its consequences. Law students, lawyers, and law professors will benefit from journeying with Norris and Stamper towards the goal of crafting prose that is clear, accurate, and inclusive. In particular, the legal community will benefit from the books' efforts to define consistent, binding linguistic rules and the books' reflections on the consequences of language as a medium for conveying law.
Keywords: legal writing, language, grammar, legal education
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