Simon on More True Confessions of a Legal Writing Professor: Dictionaries Should Not Be a Democracy @uarizonalaw
Diana Simon, University of Arizona College of Law, is publishing More True Confessions of a Legal Writing Professor: Dictionaries Should Not Be a Democracy in Arizona Attorney (2022). Here is the abstract.
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 “judgment.” 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.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.