March 4, 2010

I’m pretty sure this exact sentence was the straw that broke the camel’s back: ‘It is not the law that the Aboriginal people as holders of any proprietary or possessory rights could not be dispossessed without lateral treaty, lawful compensation or lawful international intervention.’ TRIPLE NEGATIVE, PEOPLE.

*Despite a red-hot go at being one. Okay, it wasn’t even really a go; it was more of a stop.

Comments (6)
  1. I don’t know whether to be sad or not that I knew what that sentence meant right away … Clearly the plain language movement in law has quite a way to go! :)

    • Belle, you have excellent comprehension skills. To be fair to Gibbs and Aickin J, that sentence was written thirty years ago. But still!

  2. They actually have to TEACH us to write like that. I was a Writing major undergrad–first thing my Legal Writing prof did was make me burn Strunk and White, right before her eyes.

    • You MUST tell me more about this professor of yours. Why did she do that? Were those learned stylists not up to her standards? (Giving her the benefit of the doubt, here.) Or did she incite you to obfuscate, obfuscate, obfuscate?

  3. My brain just broke. THANKS Estelle!

    (btw congrats on the job with Kill Your Darlings – I don’t think the literary community is shedding any tears over your law[yer]lessness.)

    • You are very, very sleepy…

      Thanks Elena! I’m not, either.

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