January 31, 2016

Grammar and legal writing

Note: This is a repost of my September 28, 2014 post. For some reasons the stats shows very low worldwide readership on this post. So i thought i would be better doing it again. At least the video clip is cool. That's why. 

September 28, 2014

Much as cooking of things and serving it clean,  no doubt creativity is also defined and valued that way with the perspective of the value laden secrets of recipients in question. 

But this is also what gave me a good laugh today from the start to end, at least in the first watch, and I am sure those who watch Rachel Ray Show usually wouldn’t think of anything other than that she is as apparently very good at naming things, speaking simple, entertaining audience, and so on.

Yet legal writing, too, proves to be very hard in denying things analogously as similar to what Rachel Ray does with her cooking ingredients like her fresh herbs, garlic, and chicken stock etc to boost flavors. When it comes to grammar however, this in turns proves to be very hard at the same time but in agreeing with the artificial gulf of meaning between denotational meaning and non-denotational meaning  for more than one reason because of that it has the rigorous framework for description and the firm grid in terms of how the endless vagaries of language use can be analyzed and interpreted is at first and because it has the framework where no objective aspects of meaning are inextricably linked with subjective and interactional ones in their respective semantic affirmatives is the other. 

While there isn’t at the same time such a thing as error free legal letters though, one may still wonder how some lawyers do such sophisticated writings without a further training in language other than the training in law cases and case processing. More than that six years of university education and the educational environments, the addendum like the heredity linguistics-wealth, individual’s affinity to the language and legal culture, etcetera  also seems to be the factors in this for such an extent to which one has its tendency for perfection in the legal profession. Above all, the environments in which one is nurtured in time is maybe another factor which contributes the much higher degree of intuition  for correctness, averaging the standard at the same time above than those with graduate level of education and slightly below than those with postgraduate level of education. And those who have the heredity wealth, cultural or environmental affiliations, and enough education as the required background for the intuition to conduct those grammatical investigations may also find this to be true.

Some years ago I had a chance to look at many legal writings of prominent lawyers in the city of Toronto for my interest for grammar in legal writings. The most fascinating writing in this venue was a letter in the late 80s by the name of Scott Kennedy consisting of totaling 35 sentences in which of those 34 clauses that I wasn’t spontaneously or naturally able to write. Unfortunately I didn’t have further chance to look for more in detail but valued the artistic merit, only from those available evidents, as the linguistic wealth of one in their at least  60 years of age. 

And the notable changes or 'revolution--if you may want to call it so' in writing practices of the 1980s, at least with respect to the Canadian or North American practices today that I like to add here, is the cluttering out and serving it clean strategy that eliminated the overburdened linguistic arbitraries of that time as shown here below.

The elimination of misunderstood or unnecessary punctuations (the commas in particular) year by year, reduction of margins sizes, reduction of indention to zero from six to eight spaces, justifying of text align, and footnoting etc that were not the norms of writing and legal writing in the 1970s and prior years is an example as far as our modern styling grammar is concerned.  I have no idea however as to the reason behind this after thoughts of the 1970s other than taking it as one of those widespread linguistic neo-renaissance, so to speak, just as Chomsky and followers at those times went out for and came up with those language and grammar theories that had been not available.

Now back to a response on the subject 'the common grammar errors in our legal writings, i would write something on this in a later days sometimes.

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