Writing plainly and concisely may require time and effort on the part of the writer. The reader is the first to enjoy the rewards of this effort, though, as they find it easier to read. The writer enjoys the benefits that come from convincing a reader and leaving a lasting impression. —– LEGAL writing is in the dock today, accused of being incomprehensible to the layperson. A key element of the indictment is that the sentences are overly long, complex, and phrased in a confusing manner. In this article, we look at ways to stop being accomplices in this felony. A sentence is the most basic unit of language that conveys meaning. Clear writing, thus, necessarily consists of clear sentences. When sentences convey points lucidly and emphatically, the writing as a whole becomes convincing. Unclear writing runs the risk of misinterpretation. We don't have to try too hard to imagine the scope for mischief when documents of great consequence are littered with sentences that cannot be easily parsed. Our courts are filled with disputes which often turn on the interpretation of a complicated sentence in a statute, government order, or a document filed in court by a litigant. The more effort a reader must expend to understand a text, the less likely they are to remain fully focused till they reach the end. Hence, they are less likely to retain what they've read. Concepts conveyed clearly leave a lasting impression. It is necessary, then, that we look for ways […]
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