We have so many options for social media today that it’s easy to forget that blogs, too, are (or can be) a form of social media.
Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other major platforms—each is a medium through which members of a community may (not might, but may) interact with each other on topics of common and mutual interest. It’s those interactions that put the “social” in the term social media.
A blog also can fit that description because, ideally, a blog is a dialogue, not a monologue, or at least a dialogue encouraged by a monologue.
Take The Englished Advocate™, for instance. People from many countries have visited this blog. But even with such a broad mix of cultural perspectives, the community here is gradually making this blog a dialogue through communications in which the blogger gets to Continue reading
Slowly but surely, traffic and subscriptions to this blog have increased in the six months (and then some) since the blog launched. For me, that increase has been gratifying, but I also know that I could not have caused the increase by myself. Conversations have two sides. Everyone who has visited this blog in the past six-plus months forms the other side of the conversation that is taking shape on and around this little droplet in the ocean that we call the Internet.
But it’s that “everyone” that we need to talk more about now, before this blog moves all the way into its next phase.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the breadth of backgrounds for visitors to a blog whose express overriding purpose, from Day 1, has been to help ESL attorneys improve their written Legal English. Language teachers in Dallas, Indianapolis, and Zürich have checked in with the blog. So have translators in London, Munich, Rome, and Shanghai. So has an English-mother-tongue American law professor in Michigan. ESL attorneys have visited Continue reading
People who take the English language seriously enough to make it their business—writers, editors, writing teachers, language teachers, translators, and so on—can have strong opinions about English grammar and usage. As one writer recently observed in the New York Times, “If you write for a living, it’s impossible not to adore certain words, [sic] and revile others.” I of course have my own pet peeves about English grammar and usage (such as including commas when you don’t need them, as that quotation from the New York Times does).
How many pet peeves about English do I have? This post covers ten, but the number could go higher. As I promised in this blog’s first round-up post on Legal English, I’m working on an entire post to explain why I used a hyphen for round-up when many people today would use roundup. That post will discuss problems I see with trends in using hyphens, at least in written American English. This current post also does not address the trendy mis-use of graduate as a transitive verb, yet another point of style that irks me. In other words, this post certainly does not exhaust my peeves and preferences on English grammar and usage.
But the ten points of English grammar and style discussed in this post do make a good start of pointing you toward firmer, less-confusing prose when you write on legal topics in English. Watch for the ten usages I list here, use the alternative principles or examples I offer, and you’ll be well on your way to writing legal documents in English with the clarity that your international readers need. Continue reading
Last month’s round-up post got this continuing monthly series off to a good start. But it did little to reduce the list of worthwhile links I’d compiled a month ago—and the past month has seen its own wave of interesting links related to Legal English, especially in the area of education.
This round-up will focus on educational links, partly because one of them has news value and thus needs to enter our discussion sooner instead of later. Don’t be surprised, though, if I end this month with another round-up so that I can share more of that list of worthwhile links with you. This blog is settling into a weekly publishing schedule, with posts published every Friday. May 2013 has five Fridays, which means that this month has an extra publishing day for this blog. An extra round-up post this month would be an excellent way to put that extra Friday to good use. Continue reading