Monday, August 12, 2013

Hints for enlivening prose

Vex 2A recent book offers some good hints for enlivening prose. Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let Verbs Power Your Writing, by Constance Hale, urges writers to use strong verbs. It also covers other topics, including the subjunctive mood and baseless grammar “rules,” like the canard about not ending a sentence with a preposition. The book is written for a general audience, and I find its tone a little too breezy for use as a textbook, so I wouldn’t assign it to my legal writing students. But professors can get some good ideas from it, and I may recommend it to a few students as supplemental reading.

Hale is a writer and critic who says she’s been compared to “E.B. White on acid."


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BTW can someone recommend any other good writing books? I'm a mere law student who's desperate to improve his writing. Thank you :)

Posted by: James | Aug 13, 2013 2:10:27 AM

Here are a few of the many good books available for lawyers and law students: Richard Wydick, Plain English for Lawyers; Bryan A. Garner, The Elements of Legal Style; and Enquist & Oates, Just Writing. Contact me at my email address on this blog if you want to discuss this further.

Posted by: Judith Fischer | Sep 4, 2013 3:06:42 PM

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