Peer to Peer Magazine

Winter 2014

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 71 of 75

BONUS: Nominalizations are prevalent in the legal profession. Test your sensitivity to them, and practice the lessons from this article by accessing an exercise on my blog at: These nouns—inspection, assumption, belief—are called nominalizations—nouns that should be verbs—and we guarantee that stuffing about a gazillion of them into your sentences will glaze your readers' eyes over like a ham. Most nominalizations either: follow a "to be" verb by two to five words: The procedure is in compliance complies with the most recent EPA mandate. precede the word "of": Which candidate is better suited to the governance of govern our nation? or end in "ion": The changed circumstances come into collision collide to create… It is understood that The files maintained by our firm in support of to support our legal efforts are the property of the firm. In this regard, it is my hope that you I hope that you can draft a letter for inclusion in to include in the reconsideration packet that speaks to the immigration consequences of a conviction in this case. If we choose to use use the 3rd party software, we will need to make a decision on decide who should bear the cost on pay for the purchase of the product. These examples vividly illustrate what can happen if we allow lively verbs to creep into our sentences: Before we know it, our writing has become much more accessible and we have become much more interesting. It might take a little work to avoid that, but if you're willing to try, we are certain you can make your sentences so impenetrable that colleagues will wonder if their hair has grown inward, wrapping around their brains. And they won't ever ask you to write again. Darwin, baby. Randi Mayes is the Executive Director of ILTA where she is responsible for oversight of all operations and serves as editor-in- chief of the association's numerous publications. A member of the American Society of Association Executives and the Texas Society of Association Executives, she has spoken and written on topics related to leadership development and association management. She's more than a little nuts about good writing. Gary Kinder is a lawyer and New York Times best-selling author. He has taught over 1,000 writing programs for the American Bar Association and for law firms and corporate law departments around the country. He is also the creator of WordRake, the clear and concise editing software, which Harvard Law School recently recognized as "Disruptive Innovation." WWW.ILTANET.ORG 73

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Peer to Peer Magazine - Winter 2014