I’ve gotten to a point where I no longer believe in ironclad rules. Avoid passive voice? Don’t use contractions? Never write a sentence fragment? I’ve consciously broken every one of these “rules” at one time or another to achieve some effect: emphasis, tone, whatever.
Nevertheless, after reading this post on Bryan Garner’s LawProse blog, I can confidently posit at least one absolute, ironclad, no-exceptions rule: Never, ever use the word witnesseth in serious legal writing.
Can I get a witness?