Verbosity, Some of our enemies: examples of verbal redundancy - The art of legal writing

Verbosity

Verbosity, or verbal redundancy, is a defect that affects many of our works. We tend to use superfluous words, which, it seems to us, reinforce, clarify or soften the said. However, if we critically analyze the written phrase, we can find that many words that at first seemed important do not carry a semantic load (including are not needed for expressiveness) and can be painlessly thrown out of the text for the content.

& quot; I think this is incorrect, "- the lawyer writes. However, the reader, most likely, proceeds from the fact that you write exactly what you think. Therefore, as a rule, it is enough to write simply: "This is not true". We should strive to set out the maximum of information with a minimum of words. For example, if in the following sentence (on the left) we discard unnecessary words and slightly change the order of words in the sentence, without changing the entire version, we will get a clearer, more harmonious and short formulation (on the right).

Admittedly, in this case, arbitration practice is by no means on the side of taxpayers.

Arbitration practice in this case is not on the side of taxpayers.

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Superfluous words not only make the phrase longer, but also introduce an element of uncertainty or uncertainty. It is not by chance that they say that verbosity is the "enemy of clarity". Unfortunately, it happens that the verbosity lies also in the insufficient knowledge of the question by the author of the text.

A strong letter is brief. The sentence should not contain any unnecessary words, a paragraph - no unnecessary proposals for the same reasons that the picture should not have any unnecessary lines, and the mechanism of unnecessary parts. This does not require that the writer has all the sentences short or that he avoided details and expounded the subject only in general terms, but that every word should be spoken.

Q. Strank. Elements of style

Some of our enemies: examples of speech redundancy

One of our enemies is the word & quot; enough & quot ;. In most cases, you can do without it. As an example I will give the following phrase:

The Rules of the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the US CCI provide for rather long terms for the formation of the arbitral tribunal, the preparation of the case for the meeting and the adoption of a decision.

What is & quot; long enough terms & quot ;? How do they differ from simply & quot; long & quot ;? What is the meaning of the word & quot; enough & quot ;? Apparently, no. Agree - it can be cleaned without pain. Moreover, in this decision of the arbitration court it was said that the applicant could be deprived of the possibility of real execution of the decision because of the length of the term for the formation of arbitration.

Similarly, in many cases it is possible (and necessary) to get rid of the phrases of the type that are beloved by many of us: "in general", "in a certain sense", "it seems". As a rule, they do not carry a semantic load. Unfortunately, our texts abound in this kind of expressions, and the only thing we achieve in this way is the extension of the sentence.

It seems logical to assume that

It is logical to assume that

It is important to note that

It's important to note that

If the word & quot; appears & quot; lies the desire of the author to emphasize that this is his point of view, it is better to write: "in my opinion" or & quot; we believe that & quot ;. In this case, of course, it should be taken into account whether the format of the document assumes the expression of the author's own position. In the last example, you can omit & quot; it's important to note that & quot; and simply write what you consider important without pre-empting your considerations with any introductory words.

There is room for a reduction in the following phrases, where extra words are italicized.

It was determined that existing pricing is too high.

Before his his death, he wrote a will.

To this end, the company uses available utility rooms.

In place production of the adoption of the child.

In the first three phrases, the words & quot; existing & quot ;, & quot; its & quot; and & quot; available & quot; unnecessary, as & quot; nonexistent & quot; Prices can not be either overstated or understated; will, as a rule, do not write before someone else's death; and unused utility rooms can not be used. In the last example, the word & quot; production & quot; superfluous and can be omitted, because adoption is the process of adoption, i.e. the same as the production of adoption.

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Often, verbosity arises from the use of stable phrases with verbal nouns in cases when it is quite possible to do without them.

For example, the phrase "lawmaker can not act arbitrarily and is related to the need to ensure the public's opinion on relevant issues" would be shorter and more easily perceived and more clearly, if the italicized words are replaced by & quot; must identify & quot ;: the legislator can not act arbitrarily and is obliged to express the opinion of the population on relevant issues. " >

Unfortunately, legal texts abound in this kind of shortcomings, and we can very often read "contract signing" & quot; instead of & quot; sign contract & quot ;, & quot; carry out the sale of the enterprise & quot; instead of & quot; sell an enterprise & quot ;, & quot; subject to consideration & quot; instead of & quot; consider & quot ;, & quot; after careful consideration & quot; instead of & quot; reviewing & quot; or & quot; is the recipient of & quot; instead of & quot; gets & quot;.

Examples of speech redundancy are also the following word combinations (left). Often they are called & quot; empty phrases & quot ;.

Given the fact that

Since

During that period

Then

In order to

To

Taking into account such facts

Given

tori as

Sometimes, in order to find the most concise way to express our thoughts, and in essence find the right words, we need to re-arrange the phrase. In the examples below, the selected words and phrases can either be omitted or paraphrased.

The question as to whether to what extent/is it possible ....

To what extent/Is it possible ...

The fact that society was transformed

Transformation of society

We were aware of that they are coming to Moscow.

We were aware of their arrival in Moscow

This is a question, which requires consideration ...

This question should be considered ...

Mr. A, who is a member of the Board of Directors, ...

Mr. A, member of the Board of Directors, ....

The law that was adopted after the decision of the Plenum of the US Supreme Court ...

The law adopted after the decision of the Plenum of the US Supreme Court ...

The losses incurred by us from an accident.

Our losses from the accident.

The reason is that ...

Because .../For the reason that ...

Despite the fact that ...

Although ...

Due to the fact that ...

Because ...

If a situation occurs in which

If

Phrases-negations also lengthen and weight the text, make it less specific:

He often did not come on time

He was often late

He never came on time

He was always late

Never direct ...

Should be sent ...

Examples of stylistic errors

A common stylistic mistake is pleonasm and its variety - tautology. Pleonasm (from Greek pleonasmos - excess) - a kind of verbosity, when the speech turns contain unambiguous words that are close in meaning and therefore superfluous. Examples of pleonasms are such phrases as "main essence", "uselessly disappears", "anticipate beforehand", "valuable treasures". The combination of synonyms, which will be discussed in more detail below, also often lead to the appearance of pleonasms, for example, "long and long", "only", "however, however,", for example, "

Tautology (from Greek tauto is the same, logos is a word) is a repetition of what is said to be close in meaning, often one-root words . A classic example of tautology is the expression "oil buttery". The tautology also includes the phrase "in May," "five rubles of money", "free vacancy", "save every minute of time", "adjustments and amendments", "tell the story" and & quot; ask a question & quot ;. A satirical example of tautology is the well-known phrase of ME Saltykov-Shchedrin:

The writer writes, and the reader reads

Motley Letters

Below is an example of verbosity and at the same time tautologies (on the left) and an error correction option (on the right):

You should note the following features of the project in question.

The project in question has the following features.

Tautology often occurs when foreign and Russian words are combined, when a foreign language has the same meaning as a Russian word. As a rule, the reason for tautology in this case lies in the fact that the exact meaning of foreign words is not clear to the person using them. So, the expression "complex labyrinth" redundant, because the word labyrinth implies complicated, intricate moves. Examples of a tautology of this kind are also the expressions "memorable souvenir", "young prodigy", "interior interior", "prospects for the future", "the most optimal", "leading leader".

Speech redundancy in the form of pleonasms and tautologies is, unfortunately, found in legal writing. We often come across phrases: "the plaintiff has proved his case to unsubstantiated evidence"; in accordance with the laws of that period of time & quot ;; "The growth of crime has grown"; "The indictment in case No. .... on A. accused of committing a crime ..."; "Firing for absenteeism without good cause."

There are examples of tautology in our legislation. Thus, it was rightly noted that the use of the term & quot; living animals & quot; The 2003 US Customs Code is erroneous. Animals can only be alive; To describe other conditions of animals (for example, dead), there are other terms.

An example of a tautology (and at the same time a logical error) gives us one of the articles of the US Land Code in the 2001 edition, which defines landowners as owners of land (paragraph 3 of Article 5). In such definitions, & quot; thoughts closely. & Quot;

Speech should be economical, elastic. You can not argue like this: nothing, I will leave this word, this sentence, this image, although they are not particularly important. Everything is unimportant - throw out, then it will turn out short, about which the same Chekhov said: "Brevity - the sister of talent". It is necessary to do so that words were relatively few, and thoughts, feelings, emotions - a lot. Then the speech is brief, then it is like a delicious wine, which is enough for a glass to feel pleasantly intoxicated, then it will fulfill Maikov's testament: words are tight, and thoughts are spacious.

A. F. Koni. Tips for lecturers

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