Using Intensifiers is Literally a Crime
Michigan Bar Journal, August 2017
4 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2019
Date Written: August 1, 2017
Legal writers sometimes use intensifiers (clearly, highly, obviously, very) to strengthen a text's persuasive force. But research and reader opinions show that using intensifiers doesn't persuade. This article suggests six ways to create emphasis – to persuade – without using intensifiers. It concludes with a discussion of the non-literal use of the word "literally" and shows that lawyers are generally avoiding that usage.
Keywords: intensifier, clearly, persuasion, literally, legal writing, persuasive writing, bullets, dashes
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation