Garner's Dictionary of Legal Usage
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Garner's Dictionary of Legal Usage

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This new edition of Garner's Dictionary of Legal Usage marshals and analyses the modern legal vocabulary more thoroughly than any other contemporary reference work can claim to do. Since the first edition, Bryan A. Garner has drawn on his unrivalled experience as a legal editor to refine his positions on legal usage and to add a wealth of new material. The new Third Edition remains indispensable by updating numerous entries, adding dozens of new entries and hundreds of new sections within existing entries; adding hundreds of new illustrative quotations from judicial opinions and leading law books by prominent legal commentators; revising the selected bibliography; and expanding and updating cross-references to guide readers quickly and easily. A new preface introduces the reader to this edition and discusses content that has been newly incorporated. Influential writers and editors rely on DMLU daily. It is an essential resource for practising lawyers, scholars of the law, and libraries of all sizes and types. DMLU functions both as a style guide and as a law dictionary, guiding writers to distinguish between true terms of law and mere jargon and illustrating recommended forms of expression. Common blunders are discussed in ways that will discourage writers from any further use. The origins of frequently used expressions are described with engaging prose. Collectively, there is no better resource for approaching legal writing in a logical, clear, and error-free way.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 1032 pages
  • 193.04 x 312.42 x 55.88mm | 1,973.12g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • 3rd Revised edition
  • 0195384202
  • 9780195384208
  • 212,888

About Bryan A. Garner

Through his editorship of Black's Law Dictionary and authorship of The Winning Brief, The Elements of Legal Style, Legal Writing in Plain English (U Chicago Press) and The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style (West Group), Bryan Garner has established himself as the authority on legal terminology and usage.show more

Review quote

There seems to be no linguistic topic he does not hold a vehement view on...The great strength of all the entries, whether controversial or not, is the compendious use of properly cited legal sources as examples. * Times Literary Supplement *show more

Rating details

99 ratings
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Our customer reviews

FOR GUIDANCE ON LEGAL WRITING An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers It is ironic, is it not, that 'legal language' quite often seems opaque and all too often is so; unfortunate too, as the law is based on words, forms of words, meanings of words and their interpretation, connotation and usage. One wonders how often cases have been initiated, then won or lost because someone or other has misconstrued or misinterpreted some word or other - or some phrase or other. If you're a lawyer, legal scholar, student, or generally someone who is fascinated by the power of language and who seeks to speak and write with clarity, precision and force, Garner's Dictionary of Legal Usage is the resource for you. Here it is from the Oxford University Press in a new enlarged and updated third edition and a remarkable work of lexicography it is. But it's not just a dictionary. It also functions as an authoritative guide to style, grammar and usage. As you look up each word, you are offered not just a definition, but a discussion of its significance, its origins, indeed all its aspects pertaining to law, complete with meticulously cited sources. Prolifically and painstakingly (and often entertainingly) the learned editor, Bryan A Garner, internationally acknowledged as a top authority on legal usage, seeks to blow away the cobwebs of complexity and confusion which may surround any number of terms. 'Testatorial, testorial, testatory' is an example. What's the difference? What is the most common form? Is there a reference to the OED? Look these up if you wish to know. You'll find them just before the word 'testatrix', which the editor quite rightly has a down on. 'This word is useless,' he growls. 'testator quite properly referring to men and women alike. See SEXISM.' Well - you've been told, haven't you? And you have been referred onward toward further research as well. It's a comprehensive, erudite and easy to use resource which lawyers and laymen alike will find invaluable. Synonyms, for example, are precisely differentiated and defined and such areas of law as immigration, intellectual property are discussed in the clear light of day. Ooops... we shouldn't have said that! Garner and his team have provided a pungent entry on the matter of clichés and overused words which ideally we must avoid, although some of our pet hates have been left out like 'iconic' and 'going forward.' These will no doubt surface in the next edition! Usefully, the orientation of this dictionary (of almost 1,000 pages) is transatlantic. So whether your practice is in the UK or North America, this is certainly an indispensable guide to writing or editing legal documents, books or articles with enhanced clarity, accuracy and style. The publication date is July 2011.show more
by Phillip Taylor MBE
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