Author Archive


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A Roman Walks Into a Bar

By | Feb.23.15 | No Comments

A Roman walks into a bar and tells the bartender, “I’d like a martinus.” The bartender says, “You mean a martini.” “No,” says the Roman, “I only want one.” English is a funny language — in …Continue reading »


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A Thesaurus Is Not Just a Word Processing Tab

By | Feb.02.15 | 1 Comment

A thesaurus is a compilation of synonyms, words of the same meaning. A thesaurus also lists antonyms, words of opposite meaning. When you want to vary your vocabulary to hold the reader’s interest, the thesaurus …Continue reading »


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Weak Sentence Starters You Use All the Time

By | Jan.12.15 | No Comments

A basic rule of good writing is to make every word count. “There is,” “there are” and “it is” are the weakest ways to start a sentence. Used this way, “there” and “it” are placeholders …Continue reading »


Effecting Misuse Can Affect the Effectiveness of Your Writing: Sound-Alikes

By | Nov.24.14 | No Comments

Similar-sounding words can have very different meanings. Sound-alike words have tripped up many a scribe. Because you may be spelling the word correctly but misusing it for the context, spell-check is of no help. Watch …Continue reading »


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Windyfoggery and Other Writing Tips from the Master

By | Nov.06.14 | No Comments

Theodore Bernstein created an analog to the economic maxim that bad money drives out good: bad words tend to drive out good ones. Bernstein, a journalist and professor, wrote or co-wrote seven books on grammar and …Continue reading »



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Three Tips for Better Client Status Reports

By | Sep.09.14 | 1 Comment

Ethics rules require you to keep your client informed (see ABA Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4). The client’s guidelines may require interval and event reporting. But sometimes it feels like nobody on the other end is reading …Continue reading »


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Avoid Clichés? As If!

By | Aug.07.14 | 2 Comments

Teddy Snyder’s post of August 7, 2014 was published with the editorial addition of language Teddy would not have used. We regret the oversight and provide the corrected post here. Here’s one for the books. You …Continue reading »


Even Judges Appreciate Shorter Briefs

By | Jul.08.14 | 1 Comment

Some perfectly good words lose all their meaning through misuse or overuse. “Verbiage” is one of them. The primary entry in my dictionary defines verbiage as: “More words than are required for clarity or precision.” …Continue reading »


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Lawyers: Why Tweet?

By | Jun.19.14 | 2 Comments

Previous Attorney at Work posts have discussed how to use Twitter for maximum effect while assuming you have an interest in it as a marketing tool. But some lawyers say they do not have Twitter …Continue reading »