MSCD5: Don’t Equate the Author with Their Work

I’ve been wading through the page proofs of MSCD5. I’m devoting more time to this part of the process than I have with previous editions. I’ve even spotted a few glitches that had slipped into the fourth edition. So things are looking good for MSCD5. But I’ve found myself assessing how I relate to my work. I’m intimately familiar with … Read More

MSCD5: The Awesomest Part of the Fifth Edition

One of many additions to the fifth edition of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting is an expanded discussion of including. “Great,” I hear you say, deadpan. “Swell.” I assure the jaded among you that this new section is in fact particularly interesting, but that’s not what this post is about. Instead, I want to bring to your attention … Read More

MSCD 5: Doing Away with “Studiously Foppish”

In this post I consider how, with help, I’ve gone about improving the prose of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting. It so happens that this week I had occasion to address a single fix among the many. In this post on LinkedIn, MSCD reader Steven Mirsky says he was baffled by the word allonge and was gratified to … Read More

MSCD5: Hunting Down Internal Inconsistency

There’s me, and there’s my writings. If you want to know what I think about something, you might want to start by consulting my writings, rather than asking me. I’ve been writing about this stuff for more than 20 years, and a lot of it is complicated, so I can only keep some of it in my mind at any … Read More

MSCD5: A New Opening to the Chapter on the Categories of Contract Language

Perhaps the most distinctive part of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting is chapter 3, The Categories of Contract Language. It addresses how to use verb structures to establish, clearly and concisely, your intended meaning. To get a sense of what it involves, see the “quick reference” chart that’s part of the chapter; you can get to it through … Read More

MSCD5: The Section on “Consequential Damages”

I have a sweet writing process. First, write something and publish it. After a few years, realize it’s not great. Take another crack at it, think it’s OK, then decide that in fact it’s still not great. Redo it. Ask knowledgeable people to look at it. Repeat the cycle a few times. It’s annoying but also entertaining, somehow. At least … Read More

MSCD5: More Better Cross-References!

Five years on, I can reveal that the cross-references in the fourth edition of MSCD aren’t as accurate as I’d like. There are a lot of them—my guesstimate is over 4,500. I didn’t have time to check them all myself, so I automated each cross-reference when I created it, did spot checks, and otherwise hoped for the best. Well, some … Read More

MSCD5: The Countdown Begins!

Well, friends, last night I submitted to the American Bar Association the manuscript for the fifth edition of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting. If all goes well, it will appear sometime before the end of the year. The fifth edition is about 10% longer. I’ve revised and expanded many topics, and I’ve added new topics. Consider chapter 6 … Read More