I’m an unabashed infinitive splitter, but dangling modifiers are a different story. If the aim of a contract drafter is to be clear, concise, and unambiguous, dangling modifiers are bad news. They can create unintentionally interesting sentences, but they also are a breeding ground for confusion. Thanks to a recent tweet by Marilyn Bush LeLeiko (aka @lawwriting), I found this excellent piece about dangling participles by Catherine Soanes on the OxfordWords blog.
What do the AP Stylebook, Chicago Manual of Style, and MLA Style Manual have in common? They all recommend using a single space after a period. I’m with them, although I wouldn’t get worked up about it.
Farhad Manjoo’s with them too, but he does get worked up about it. He doesn’t mince words in this Slate article in which he writes, “Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.” He’s clearly not a fan of the “two spacers.” [click to continue…]
The AP Style Guide changed its preferred spelling of the abbreviated form of electronic mail to email (without the hyphen) over the weekend. This is an example of the tendency of language to become more simple over time. Languages are living after all, and rules of style and usage change along with the cultures they are a part of.
The change to email made me wonder whether one of the most common grammatical mistakes I see in well-written contracts is not an error, but rather an evolutionary change of the language. So, I wonder, is it still proper to use a possessive with a gerund? [click to continue…]