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Flesch readability score = 45 (fairly difficult); grade level = 10
This one is better than most. But it's so stodgy.
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Flesch readability score = 78 (very easy); grade level = 6
I'm brutal, aren't I?
Here is the original:
One more comment on Eric Shimamoto's piece criticizing the ALWD Manual.
Why did the Association of Legal Writing Directors create the ALWD Citation Manual to compete with the Bluebook? I thought I knew, but I just read a competing viewpoint.
I've been hired as the plain-language drafter for the Texas Pattern Jury Charges Plain Language Task Force. I am starting by revising the admonitory instructions. It's interesting.
Two little legal words are falling out of favor, and I’d like to do something about it. No, the words are not chad and tax. The two little legal words I am referring to are said and same, and they’re getting a bad rap.
I overheard this conversation:
Rudolf Flesch (my hero) quoted a popular magazine on the topic of vocabulary building and then added his comments:
Much legal writing is produced with only lawyers or the courts in mind. One result is that the parties to the document become almost irrelevant, ignored as outsiders or tourists.
I have a bias against Latin in legal writing. I think Latin makes legal writing sound more complicated than it is, and it excludes nonlawyers. To me, it serves only to brand writing as legal and writers as lawyers. Those aren’t goals I support. So I generally condemn Latin.
Have you read the popular book Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss? The subtitle is The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. It's about correct punctuation. Or at least it's supposed to be.
In legal writing, we use a full set of commas for items or phrases in a series. We do not omit the comma before the conjunction.