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Fall 2010 JALWD available

The Fall 2010 issue of JALWD (Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors) has hit the streets. The theme is metaphor and narrative. If your job is persuading others, then metaphor and narrative (storytelling) are tools you need in your toolbox—otherwise you’re probably failing at your job. So what are you doing hanging around here? Go there and start reading. (Hat tip to Legal Writing Prof Blog.)


It seems that Sarah Palin has come up with a portmanteau word: refudiate, combining refute and repudiate. I have two reactions:

  1. I won’t use the word myself, and I don’t recommend adopting it. Refute or repudiate work fine.
  2. I won’t dump on Palin for using the word herself. When she uses it, I know instantly what she means. If the listener instantly understands what the speaker is saying, then the speaker has done her job.

Never mind LeBron. Here’s the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Winners

If one of your secret pleasures is intentionally godawful prose, then you’ll want to peruse this year’s Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Winners. The contest is named after Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, whose inspired Snoopy with his famous opening, “It was a dark and stormy night....” My favorite is by Dennis Doberneck, runner-up in the Purple Prose category:

The wind whispering through the pine trees and the sun reflecting off the surface of Lake Tahoe like a scattering of diamonds was an idyllic setting, while to the south the same sun struggled to penetrate a sky choked with farm dust and car exhaust over Bakersfield, a town spread over the lower San Joaquin Valley like a brown stain on a wino’s trousers, which is where, unfortunately, this story takes place.