Day: March 3, 2015

Tips from the Editor – Source of Style

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editor1aBy Kelly Laycock

Now, I know I’m supposed to be finishing up my discussion of Abbreviation Clarification (Part 2) this week, and I really do want to look more closely at the popular style conventions for abbreviations. But as I started writing, I realized I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk a bit about style in general first, specifically relating to the legal profession.

I see style as a complex and ever-changing beast, moving first in one direction and then back again, much like a “Bird Ballet”. As with all style conventions, people often feel very strongly one way or another for no discernible reason (just look at my most popular post to see what I mean!). This ebb and flow and constant change is reflected in the publishing world to some extent, where I’ve found it difficult to find any really “standard” Canadian style guides, legal or otherwise. But more on that in a moment.

The important thing to remember about style conventions is that there is no wrong, there is only preference. Style can change very quickly to match trends in popular culture, or it can stay stable over long periods of time. It can be played with depending on the content. This differs from rules of grammar, which come from language use over time and change very slowly, if at all.     Read the rest of this entry »