Some Myths About Legal Language

Journal of Law, Culture and Humanities, Forthcoming

Loyola-LA Legal Studies Paper No. 2005-26

37 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2005

See all articles by Peter Tiersma

Peter Tiersma

Loyola Marymount University, Loyola Law School (Deceased)

Abstract

Over the centuries, much has been written about the language of the law. The language of lawyers is archaic and conservative. It is full of Latin and French. It is wordy and redundant, pompous and dull, and either highly precise or maddeningly indeterminate. Perhaps the most interesting suggestion is legal language is a myth, in that it is really just ordinary language with a great deal of technical terminology. Some of these assertions have more than a kernel of truth, others are complete myths, and yet others should be relegated to that status as quickly as possible.

Suggested Citation

Tiersma, Peter M., Some Myths About Legal Language. Journal of Law, Culture and Humanities, Forthcoming; Loyola-LA Legal Studies Paper No. 2005-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=845928

Peter M. Tiersma (Contact Author)

Loyola Marymount University, Loyola Law School (Deceased)

United States

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