“A common criticism of legal writing is that those in the legal profession are enamored of redundancy. They cannot merely say null. They must say null and void and of no legal force or effect. Is all this needed? If something is null, isn’t it void? If it is void, can it have legal effect? The reason legal writing is so prone to word doubling (and tripling) lies in the history of our language. English has its roots in Latin and French as well as in the language of the Celts and the Anglo-Saxons. Often word pairings were used to ensure that readers would understand phrases regardless of their background or station in life. Thus, the French word peace joined with the Latin word quiet. These redundant doublings have persisted long after any need for them. Their use today is often the result of habit rather than necessity.” – Deborah E. Bouchoux, Aspen Handbook for Legal Writers (emphases in original)
What’s a word that will make this interesting?
Published inPolitics & Law