martes, 15 de diciembre de 2009

Spelling in legal texts

Lawyers are trained to pay attention to detail. Therefore, spelling mistakes in a letter are likely to be noticed and will create a very bad impression. Spelling, punctuation, and grammar should all be checked carefully. Many people rely on the spell-checker in their computer to ensure there are no spelling mistakes. However, spell-checkers often prescribe American spellings, while clients and other correspondents may prefer British spellings. In any case, certain kinds of mistakes will slip through such a check, e.g.:
- Where a word may be spelt correctly but is the wrong word: I saw it their (instead of I saw it there).
- Where a compound word is incorrectly split into two words, or two words are incorrectly combined to form a valid compound word: the good will of the company (instead of the goodwill of the company).
There is no substitute for carefully proofreading each letter that you have written.

Rupert Haigh, Oxford Handbook of Legal Correspondence, Oxford University Press, 2006.

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