Law review editors missed a few, so we have this usage skills quiz for you

Bryan Garner on Words


Bryan A. Garner. Photograph by Terri Glanger.

Early each year, I collect for the Green Bag the most egregious gaffes to have appeared in the previous year’s law reviews. The abundant findings this time around prompted me to create an English-usage quiz for the readers of this column.

For each question, the law review cited actually printed the incorrect choice. Whether that’s the fault of the original author or a law review editor is an unanswerable question for most of us; but if you’re familiar with law review practices, you’ll probably agree that it’s fairer to name the journal than the author.

One thing to keep in mind is that language changes over time, and what begins as an error can ultimately become enshrined as good usage. The shift may take centuries. Until that shift happens, though, editors generally do their best to comply with prevailing literary usage. With the questions in this quiz, the language hasn’t yet come close to accepting the “incorrect” choices as standard written English.

The answers, of course, are printed at the end. But be disciplined! Try your hand at all the questions before you peek (not peak) at the answers.

Read more …

Bryan A. Garner, president of LawProse Inc., is also the editor-in-chief of Black’s Law Dictionary and the author of many books. Follow on Twitter @BryanAGarner.

This article was published in the April 2018 issue of the ABA Journal with the title “Test Your Usage Skills: Law review editors missed a few, so now we have this quiz for you.”

Be Sociable, Share!

Follow Us!

Author: Edward Lott

Edward Lott, Ph.D., M.B.A. is President and Managing Partner of Allentown-based ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing, Inc., a local search and digital marketing agency that offers clients lead generation, local seo and Google Maps Domination. Ed has been a digital entrepreneur since 1994, having discovered very early the opportunities the Internet offered. After having spent over two decades helping attorneys grow their practice, Ed joined the staff of ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing as President and Managing Partner, where he is expanding the agency’s cutting-edge services to the legal market. A true marketing futurist, Ed's vast experience working directly with attorneys has given him a unique perspective on law firm marketing not found in many other digital marketing agencies. Ed has reshaped the offerings of ForLawFirmsOnly to focus on growing law firms through a holistic approach to digital marketing evident in the reformulated lead generation processes now in place. Want to learn more about ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing, their lead generation programs, or just talk to Ed about his visions for helping law firms grow? Call him at 855-943-8736.

Scroll Up