Bench & Bar

SEP 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 28 of 67

27 BENCH & BAR | Compound constructions use three or four words to do the work of one. For example, lawyers commonly use the phrase, "in order to" in place of "to." Why use three words, when one will do? In the left column below are more exam- ples of compound phrases found in legal writing and in the right column are suggested edits: Below is an example of how cutting compound construc- tion can reduce a sentence from 21 words to 12 words. The parties were in complete agreement with respect to the amount of rent due and also as regards to the due date. The parties completely agreed about the amount of rent and due date. 4 AVOID COMPOUND CONSTRUCTION. for the reason that prior to subsequent to in the event that with respect to by means of because before to after if about by compound phrases suggested edits SEE THE NEXT PAGE FOR TIPS 5-7 ON CONCISE WRITING. Unnecessary words and phrases are like "throat-clearing"—the "verbal tics that we use unconsciously as we clear our throats." 2 For example, the words actually, really, virtually, and certainly provide no real meaning about what is to come in the sentence. Worse, the phrases it is important to note and it is obvious that, overplay the writer's point and the writer loses credibility with the reader. The familiar phrase, it may be argued that, adds no meaning to what follows and dilutes the per- suasiveness of any point. 3 AVOID THROAT CLEARING PHRASES.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Bench & Bar - SEP 2018