How to Feed a Lawyer (and Other Irreverent Observations from the Legal Underground)

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Your supposed to be more care full, not less so, as your writing are improving. Rules should be more strictly applied, not less of them.

I'm afraid you will laps into your prior ways under these more forgiving less rules. And I will have to get another partime job.


I wonder if "laying low" is one of those things like "flammable" that is becoming acceptable through persistent misuse. Google News shows 45 examples of "laying low" (including some in headlines) and "about 150" of "lying low."

On the other hand, I saw Newsweek use "just desserts" in referring to the Martha Stewart case, and couldn't get anyone to share my outrage.

Evan Schaeffer

Ted: I can take some comfort in the fact that Garner says lay for lie is "one of the most widely known of all usage errors." As for "just desserts," Garner calls that mistake "sloppiness or pure ignorance."

If Newsweek can't get its text properly edited, is there hope for any of us?

Meanwhile, I omitted one of my intended rule changes from the post, so I'll just state it here: Mistakes in my comments don't count. One must draw the line somewhere.


Should a rule in the comments be counted, if mistakes in the comment are not?


Leave it to a lawyer to make a comment like that last one. Actually, in a day or two, I'm going to mention the comment rule in an update to my original post about proofreading, just so there won't be any confusion. Until then, if the ambiguity causes a dispute, we'll have to arbitrate according to the terms of the disclaimer incorporated into the original rules.


"it's" should be its in the sentence "Despite the comfort it's given me" since you only use the apostrophe when you could replace it's with it is and you can't do that here.


Bruce: First of all, see "1" above: copyediting suggestions don't go in comments anymore--not since March 23, 2004, anyway. You can e-mail them to me. Second, I know my Grateful Dead, and they sing, "What a long strange trip it's been," or something like that. It's = it has. Get it?

So, Bruce, I'm not sure what you've been smoking--but whatever it is, I'm sure Jerry Garcia and the rest of his band would approve, God rest his soul.


Hi Evan,
I just visited your blog and read your attempt to rid of typos. I am really intrigued why you spell a blog as "blawg". Or is that one of your intentional typos?


Jennis: "Blog" + "law" = "blawg." For more information, see here, where I recently posted a comment, or many other places in the "blawgosphere."

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