lunes, 8 de marzo de 2010

Precision and Accuracy

Often either of two words will suffice in a sentence, but the shades of meaning differ. There is, for example, a difference between saying that a doctrine is old and saying that it is venerable, between calling a treatise compendious and calling it voluminous, and between characterizing a person as drunken as opposed to merely drunk on a specific occasion.

Careful writers make distinctions. They cultivate an awareness for words and their connotative differences. They would no more write incidental to when they mean incident to than a carpenter would try to nail with the handle of a screwdriver.

Gardner, Bryan, The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style (2nd Ed.), Thompson West, 2006.

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