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George Orwell on plain English | SEC guidance on plain English Plain English Anatomy Noun | Verb | Adjective | Adverb | Preposition | Conjunction | Latin | Germany | Flannel | Legal triplicate | Nominalisation | Murder your darlings

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A word describing a noun. Adjectives are generally eschewed in legal drafting, but not quite as assiduously as are adverbs (which — having only literary, but not forensic, merit — are are viewed with abject horror). Adjectives, being a necessary evil, engender only distaste.

Adjectives can be handy, even to a curmudgeon. In rare cases they carry all the semantic content of an adjectival phrase. If you take the adjectives out of “a commercially reasonable manner” you are not left with much at all: An entreaty that parties “shall act in a manner at all times” would irk even the most punctilious attorney.