Get Your Blue-Sky Bolt!

I’ve previously mentioned, in this blog post and in this LinkedIn post, my “blue-sky bolt”—a design that has morphed into an enamel pin. Well, soon I’ll start sending enamel pins as a thank-you gesture to those who do something to further the cause or help me out in some manner. For that, I’ll need a card, so here it is … Read More

For Contract Drafting, Strunk & White Isn’t Your Friend

Occasionally I see someone invoke Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style in connection with drafting contracts. Two things come to mind, one specific, the other general. First, Strunk & White doesn’t have an unblemished reputation. Linguist Geoff Pullum did a number on it in this article, in which he says this: I believe the success of Elements to be … Read More

Emphasizing Positive Over Negative, Message Over Messenger

It’s high time that I shift gears, in two respects. Positive Over Negative I’ve spent much of the past 20 years on the offense. I decided early on that if I wanted to make headway against entrenched notions of what clear contract language looks like, and if I wanted to keep myself and my readers interested, I shouldn’t pull my … Read More

For Creating Contracts, Document Assembly Is the Clear Winner Over Generative AI

Although it’s early in the game, I’m willing to believe that generative artificial intelligence, by whatever name (“large language models”, GPT-4, and so on), will have a significant effect on the world of work. But it’s not relevant to what I do, because for now, contracts are largely immune to a generative-AI takeover. For one thing, mainstream contract drafting is … Read More

Arranging the Parts of a Sentence

[Updated 2:30 p.m. ET to incorporate Vance’s version (see his comment).] Below are five versions of a sentence, with the only difference being the order in which the components are arranged. I listed the first four in the order in which I preferred them at the time of posting, from most preferred to least. The fifth is the version proposed … Read More

Should You Aim to Make All Your Defined Terms One Word Long?

Betteridge’s law of headlines says that “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” Well, Betteridge’s law applies to this post. Raiford Palmer drew my attention to this tweet, which says as follows: Defined terms (“Definitions”) should be 1 word. 2 words MAX, in rare cases. If you’re out here dropping 3+ word … Read More

My Training in Contract Language: What’s the Point?

This week I launched a new training option, Drafting Clearer Contracts: Presentation. (Go here for the relevant page of my training site; go here for the related blog post.) So I figured it might be helpful for me to summarize what I hope participants will gain from my training, whether it’s in the form of Presentation or the other option, … Read More

I’ve Scheduled My First-Ever Online Public “Drafting Clearer Contracts” Presentations

On 27 and 28 June 2023 and on 12 and 13 September 2023, I’ll be doing my first-ever online public Drafting Clearer Contracts presentations. I’ve expanded my training site to reflect that—go here for more information. These presentations are more accessible than, and offer better value than, presentations I’ve done previously. Allow me to explain. Since 2006, I’ve done hundreds … Read More