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Get Jargon, Get Rid of Jargon

by Carolyn Elefant on August 25, 2010 · 1 comment

in Legal Research and Writing, Lessons

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If you’re an aficionado of legal jargon (and come on, aren’t all of us lawyers, at least when we’ve had too much to drink?), why not indulge yourself with two free e-books of jargon on project finance and corporate finance, courtesy of Latham & Watkins, with an H/T to Three Geeks & A Law Blog.

On the other hand, if you want to purge your vocabulary and your blog of lame, pretentious terms like thought-leaders, game-changer, and value-proposition to name just a few, then check out this cool site, Unsuck-It for a better word choice. (H/T to Jim Calloway and Matt Homann).

Of course, part of the problem of jargon isn’t just the words we use, but also the way in which we present our words.  Most legal jargon winds up seeming like mumbo-jumbo, because it’s either buried in fine print, while other words (clearly, obviously, blatantly) are often clothed in caps or italics.  For a true cleansing, take the good legal writing pledge with Lisa Solomon (starts at 1:08):

  • Arizona Trademark Attorn

    My legal jargon pet peeve: using “in pertinent part.” Unnecessary because the presence of quotations and possibly ellipses shows that is an excerpt, hopefully you wouldn't be citing it if it weren't important, and it just sounds stuffy.

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