Monday, May 6, 2013

Rules to Forget

The Lawyerist has a nice post on three grammar rules that you ought to forget.  It turns out that your grade school grammar teacher may have perpetuated some bad, or at least unnecessary, habits. 

First, you should use “and” and “but” to begin a sentence.  From the post:

Using “and” to start a sentence is not only grammatically correct, it’s often the best choice. Compare this:

The defendant had a loaded pistol in his jacket. And he was high on methamphetamine.

to this:

The defendant had a pistol in his jacket. Additionally, he was high on methamphetamine.

Which sentence has a greater impact?

And (see, I’m already catching on) you should use prepositions at the end of some sentences:

[The preposition] rule comes from a few Latin-obsessed writers in the 19th century. But English sentences are not structured like Latin. Forcing the preposition into the sentence leads to bad results:

What is the new tool used for?

or:

For what purpose is the new tool used?

Head over to the original post for the third rule that your elementary school teacher misled you with. The fall will be here before we all know it (gasp), and this piece might make a good starting point for a sentence-level writing discussion with your 1Ls.

(dbb)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwriting/2013/05/rules-to-forget.html

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