A dictionary of modern legal usage

by Bryan A. Garner

Paper Book, 2001


With double the length and coverage of the original, this new edition of A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage (DMLU) thoroughly marshals and analyzes modern legal vocabulary. Since the first edition, Bryan A. Garner has drawn on his unrivaled experience as a legal editor to refine his positionson legal usage and to add a wealth of new material. Here's how Garner's revision makes DMLU, Second Edition indispensable:-- Updates every existing entry, making this a second edition in the fullest sense;-- Adds hundreds of new entries;-- Adds hundreds of new sections within existing entries;-- Adds over 3,000 new illustrative quotations from judicial opinions and leading lawbooks by prominent legal commentators;-- Reconsiders previously held positions, now saying, for example, that contractions are sometimes permissible in legal writing;-- Fully elaborates ideas only mentioned in the first edition;-- Takes into account numerous comments received from first edition users;-- Expands and updates cross-references to guide readers quickly and easily.Influential writers and editors rely on DMLU daily. Charles Alan Wright, for example, says, "I consult Garner regularly. He offers authoritative guidance on many matters of usage that are unique to legal writing....Garner is almost always pithy; he is often witty. Any lawyer, no matter how experton words and language, is sure to learn from Garner's fine book." And the editors of Harvard Law Review have found it essential: "In a work worthy of comparison to Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage, Mr. Garner...sets forth an authoritative guide to American legal usage and style. All legalwriters will find it an invaluable help; many law review editors will find it a source of delight. Don't confront your editor without it."Features:-- Functions both as a style guide and as a law dictionary-- Guides writers to distinguish between true terms of law and mere jargon-- Illustrates recommended forms of expression as well as common blunders with thousands of quotations and citations-- Explains the origins of expressions lawyers regularly use, such as Know all men by these presents, or party of the first part-- Records and evaluates more than 100 twentieth-century neologisms, from conclusory to farminor, from Mirandize to representee-- Distinguishes American from British usage and refers to current practice among Australian, Canadian, and Scottish legal writers-- Solves editorial problems by dealing with practical writing issues-- Offers wit and erudition reminiscent of H.W. Fowler, author of the first so-called usage dictionary.In short, in its Second Edition DMLU remains, as one reviewer hailed it in 1987, "truly unique in the literature of law." It is an essential resource for practicing lawyers, scholars of the law, and libraries of all sizes and types.… (more)



Call number



Oxford [u.a.] : Oxford Univ. Press, 2001.

User reviews

LibraryThing member keylawk
Includes a series of Essays on Style, Usage, Lexicology, wording, and punctuation.
Quote: IRONY. "The chief irony of lawyerdom is that poll after poll shows that (1) the public holds lawyers in low esteem, but (2) of all the possible careers that are available, parents would prefer to have their
Show More
children become lawyers. Whole books could be written about that inconsistency."[509]
Show Less
LibraryThing member upstairsgirl
An excellent reference for any writer of legal documents or researcher in the law, Garner's Modern Legal Usage is full of thorough, engaging explanations, and shows a strong preference for using as plain, clear English in the service of the law as possible. The notes on archaisms and uses that have
Show More
fallen out of favor are especially helpful. The book also includes notes on various derogatory terms for lawyers, which are awesome and hilarious.
Show Less


SCRIBES Book Award (Honorable Mention — Honorable Mention — 1988)



0195142365 / 9780195142365
Page: 0.2408 seconds