Legal Writing Advice: Go Ahead, Split Your Infinitives
Posted Sep 3, 2010 6:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Blindly following grammar rules can be a mistake for legal writers, according to a lawyer and a public relations consultant.
That means it is permissible to boldly split your infinitives, according to a Recorder article by AT&T lawyer John di Bene and public relations consultant Elizabeth Lampert.
“Lawyers will write the worst sentences in order to keep infinitives together, ruin the flow of their arguments and lose their readers in the process,” they write. “Remember, you are not writing for a grade, you're writing to make a point. While it is important to know a rule, it is just as important to know when you should break it.”
They also advise against convoluted language, jargon and a patronizing tone.