7 - Plain English in the law advent calendar

Plain English in the law: give it to me straight!

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Lecturer in Linguistics and English Language Chris Cummins debates the use of plain English in the law

Jargon can be baffling. There is nothing worse than trying to decipher a text that appears to be written in a language you don’t speak. The law is the biggest culprit for causing this kind of confusion. According to one family court judge, making sense of legal language is not a burden that the ordinary people affected by these legal decisions should have to bear.

In an article for the Conversation, Chris Cummins talks about the importance of using plain English in the law.

“While every field has its own jargon, the law is allegedly a serial offender.”

– Chris Cummins,
Lecturer in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh

To find out more about the role of legal language and plain English, read the full online article:

The Conversation – Here’s one judge who understands that the law needn’t be an ass

About Chris Cummins

Chris Cummins is a Lecturer in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests include experimental semantics: and especially the motivation for speakers’ choice of expressions.

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