Daily Dispatch

Get to the Point

Elegant Insults

By | Feb.13.17 | Communicating, Daily Dispatch, Get to the Point, Legal Writing

Get to the Point

When your brain knows just the right word, you can be more concise. And sometimes you can slip in the verbal dagger without the victim understanding what you’ve done.

Insouciant

When you want to say the defendants in the medical malpractice case just don’t give a damn, you can label their procedures insouciant. Insouciant translates from French as “uncaring.” Insouciance encapsulates the essence of negligence.

Specious

The law is a learned profession, right? So you would never call your opponent a liar. But you might assert that their arguments are specious.

Banal

You (and the judge) have heard this (specious?) argument a hundred times. It’s trite. It’s boring. You could say, “Counsel’s banal assertion does not justify the position set forth in this case.” This word is correctly pronounced as many as three ways, though the preferred pronunciation rhymes with “canal.”

Other Verbal Daggers?

Do you have an elegant verbal dagger you especially like to thrust? Please leave a comment telling us your choicest lingual weapon.

[aaw_sw]

Theda “Teddy” Snyder mediates workers compensation cases throughout California. She is also available for legal freelance writing assignments. An attorney since 1977, she has practiced in a variety of settings and frequently speaks and writes about settlements and the business of law. She is a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management and the author of four books published by the American Bar Association, including "Women Rainmakers' Best Marketing Tips, 3rd Edition" as well as "Personal Injury Case Evaluation" available on Amazon.com. Based in Los Angeles, Teddy can be found at WCMediator.com and on Twitter @WCMediator.

Illustration ©iStockPhoto.com

Sign Up for ‘One Really Good Idea Every Day’

Get Attorney at Work’s daily dispatch every day in your inbox, just sign up here.

Sponsored Links

Recommended Reading

4 Responses to “Elegant Insults”

  1. Daniel Malis
    13 February 2017 at 9:04 am #

    I’ve never seen “insouciant”. But I have used “flippant”. More than once. And, on occasion, “puerile”.

  2. Matt
    17 February 2017 at 11:38 am #

    often statements submitted in pleadings are “inconsistent with the facts”

  3. Katharine
    17 February 2017 at 1:59 pm #

    One of my favorites is “fatuous.” It means “foolish or inane, especially in an unconscious, complacent manner.”

  4. Martin Collins
    21 February 2017 at 8:29 pm #

    ‘Otiose’ is an excellent word to describe an opponent’s argument.
    I saw a lawyer use it once and always look forward to the opportunity to use it myself.


Comment