- Paperback: 328 pages
- Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (May 15, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226803031
- ISBN-13: 978-0226803036
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,130,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Legal Language 1st Edition
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From Library Journal
Tiersma (Loyola Law Sch.) has written an interesting descriptive history of how Anglo-American "legalese" developed and continues to thrive as we move into the 21st century. He begins by tracing the roots of legalistic terminology back to Celtic times and then details its expansion during the Anglo-Saxon era as certain words were refined to minimize confusion and emphasize clarity. At the same time, this boom in terminology set the legal profession apart from all others, thereby underscoring its social importance. Tiersma contends that this dual nature of legal language profoundly affects the legal profession to this day. To drive home this theme, he thoroughly examines several facets of legal communication, such as anachronistic language, the wording of state and federal statutes, and even lawyer Johnnie Cochran's oral defense of O.J. Simpson. A scholarly effort that will perhaps be valued more by linguists than by lawyers; recommended for larger public and academic libraries.ASteven Anderson, Gordon Feinblatt Rothman Hoffberger & Hollander, Towson, MD
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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It also presents the many reasons that legal language came to be the way it is, while avoiding simplistic explanations. And though it discusses many ways that legal language fails us, it gives just as many ways to improve it.
Most important, the book takes legal language seriously, calling it a "sublanguage" of English and "a set of linguistic features that are superimposed on everyday speech." At the same time, it recognizes that lawyers who care about communicating will have to make difficult decisions about what parts of legal language to keep and what parts to abandon.