usage

Spell-Checkers Won’t Catch These Usage Bungles

Does your spell- and grammar-checker proof your writing and make your usage decisions? Some common usage errors should make you think twice.

Fear Not Beginning Sentences with And or But

Old superstitions die hard. Yes, you can begin sentences with And and But

Effective Writing is Efficient Writing

To write efficiently, uncover buried verbs and cut useless prepositions. Clients appreciate efficiency and the courtesy that comes with it.

The Pitfalls of Sentence Adverbs in Legal Writing

Good legal writers avoid the myriad problems caused by using sentence adverbs in legal writing. Here's how you can too.

Legal-Writing Resolutions for 2013 (Part Two)

Assuming the world doesn't end on December 21, here are some New Year's resolutions that can improve your legal writing in 2013 (Part 2 of 2)

Legal-Writing Resolutions for 2013 (Part One)

Assuming the world doesn't end on December 21, here are some New Year's resolutions that can improve your legal writing in 2013 (Part 1 of 2).

Persnickety Lawyers Hyphenate Phrasal Adjectives

Persnickety lawyers hyphenate phrasal adjectives. Novices don't. So stop perpetuating this usage mistake by learning some basic rules.

Simple Legal Writing a Newfangled Idea? Hardly.

A simple, direct style of legal writing isn't a newfangled idea. In fact, this style has deep roots in Western literature and law. So let's defend it.

Do “Sexting” and “Mash-Up” Belong in the Dictionary?

Did you know that the question of whether "sexting" gets into the dictionary is part of a war over our language that has been raging for over 50 years?

Random Musings on Usage in Legal Writing

Lawyers struggle with tricky usage issues in their legal writing. Let's try to fix 10 of them.

Avoiding Sexism in Legal Writing—Man-Ending Nouns and Salutations

Latent sexism can creep into otherwise good legal writing. Here are some ways to avoid it so you can focus on more difficult obstacles.

Avoiding Sexism in Legal Writing—The Pronoun Problem

Even inadvertent sexism can diminish the effectiveness of legal writing. Here are some ways to avoid one form of sexism in writing—the pronoun problem.

Eschewing Comfort Words in Legal Writing

Learn from Vice President Biden: To strengthen your legal writing, cut your comfort words.

Segways, and Other Homophonic Legal-Writing Blunders

To avoid legal-writing blunders, scour your legal writing for misused homophones.

Scrubbing Adverbs From Legal Writing

For hard-hitting legal writing, start spotting and scrubbing unnecessary and redundant adverbs.