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Monday, September 03, 2012

Keep It Simple, Silly

Keep It Simple, Silly

Take a look at this fictitious legal document excerpt:

"The claimant is entitled to a reimbursement commensurate to an amount reduced pursuant to Act 781. Any reimbursement from other sources will be subject to proceeding in corroboration between the two parties involved in the claim. All activities are hereby ordered to cease until the reimbursement proceedings have been discharged."

Did you get all that? If you didn't, then the document did its job. The reason why many legal documents is bogged down with polysyllabic words and complex legal jargon is to force the reader into not reading it and skipping to the part where they have to sign. This is also beneficial to attorneys as part of their jobs is to argue semantics, and it is easier to do so when there is ambiguity in the document.

Of course, not everyone works in such an environment. If you are an office worker, chances are you won't benefit from using the same type of language. In fact, it may even prove detrimental for those involved, causing undue confusion.

Hence, it would behoove the populace to deliberate on the verbiage they choose to employ, lest it become a befuddling endeavor leading to the degradation of human communication.

Translation: When in doubt, keep it simple, silly.

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