Legal Writing Tips

Each and every one. Pitchman’s jargon. Avoid, except in dialogue.

It should be a lesson to each and every one of us. It should be a lesson to every one of us (to us all).

Effect. As a noun, means “result”; as a verb, means “to bring about,” “to accomplish” (not to be confused with affect, which means “to influence”).

As a noun, often loosely used in perfunctory writing about fashions, music, painting, and other arts: “a South­western effect”; “effects in pale green”; “very delicate ef­fects”; “subtle effects”; “a charming effect was produced.” The writer who has a definite meaning to express will not take refuge in such vagueness.

Enormity. Use only in the sense of “monstrous wicked­ness.” Misleading, if not wrong, when used to express big­ness.

Enthuse. An annoying verb growing out of the noun enthusiasm. Not recommended.

She was enthused about her new car. She enthused about her new car.
She was enthusiastic about her new car She talked enthusiastically (expressed enthusiasm) about her new car.

Etc. Literally, “and other things”; sometimes loosely used to mean “and other persons.” The phrase is equivalent to and the rest, and soforth, and hence is not to be used if one of these would be insufficient-that is, if the reader would be left in doubt as to any important particulars. Least open to objection when it represents the last terms of a list already given almost in full, or immaterial words at the end of a quotation

At the end of a list introduced by such as, for example, or any similar expression, etc. is incorrect. In formal writing, etc. is a misfit. An item important enough to call for etc. is probably important enough to be named.


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