More True Confessions of a Legal Writing Professor: Dictionaries Should Not Be a Democracy
__ Ariz. Att'y __ (Forthcoming 2022)
11 Pages Posted: 3 May 2022
Date Written: April 30, 2022
This, at times, irreverent, tongue-in-cheek article is about how dictionaries include words legal writers should not use in their writing, such as, irregardless, anyways, and judgement. First, the article addresses the word “irregardless” because law students frequently include that word (incorrectly) in their writing. Second, the article discusses how lexicographers decide to include words in dictionaries based on popular usage. Third, the article covers additional (incorrect) words that students write, such as “anyways” and “judgement.” Finally, the article concludes that, while legal writers should consult dictionaries, they should not view the words within them as the final arbiter for proper usage in legal writing, which has its own conventions.
Keywords: legal writing, legal education, dictionaries, irregardless, judgment and judgement, legal writers
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation