Blacks Law Dictionary (Deluxe Gift Edition) / Edition 7

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Overview

For the first time since the original 1891 edition, this classic legal resource has enjoyed a complete cover-to-cover revision. Last updated in 1990, more than 30,000 definitions have been honed, sharpened and made more concise. Over 4,500 terms appear for the first time in any legal dictionary. Each definition conveys more information than ever. With the new 7th edition, readers will stay up-to-date on every nuance of emerging terminology. Quotations from important cases and respected scholars allow readers to see how a term is used in context and to grasp the meaning instantly.

Features include:

  • Headwords showing whether the word I upper or lower case, roman or italic type
  • Easy to understand pronunciation symbols
  • Over 2,000 illustrative quotations
  • Specialized vocabularies
  • Cross referencing among related terms


Summary of Contents:

Preface

The Pronunciation of Latin

Outline of Latin Pronunciation

Guide to Pronunciation Symbols

Text of Definitions

Appendices

Table of Abbreviations

The Constitution of the United States

Time Chart of the United States Supreme Court

Organizational Chart of United States Government

Table of British Regnal Years

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780314241306
  • Publisher: West Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/1999
  • Series: Black's Law Dictionary Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 7
  • Pages: 1738
  • Product dimensions: 7.78 (w) x 10.46 (h) x 2.75 (d)

Interviews & Essays

Exclusive Author Essay
"Can an educated American say ____?" You can fill in the blank with any number of words and phrases. My friend and myself. It's me. Between you and I. Question as to whether. Fulsome praise. Hopefully. Final destination. Orientate. Center around. Someplace. Snuck. Seldom ever. Uncategorically. There are thousands more. These are questions that I field weekly in professional writing seminars. I do my best to answer them in A Dictionary of Modern American Usage.

One perennial question emerges when people ask about grammar: "What grammar book do you recommend?" What the person really wants isn't a grammar at all, but a good dictionary of usage. This underappreciated genre has alphabetical listings of all the most common trouble spots in the language. It's partly grammar ("fused participles"), partly word choice ("self-deprecating" vs. "self-depreciating"), and sometimes a mixture of the two ("It's me" vs. "It's I"). There are dozens of essays on subjects as diverse as Airlinese, Jargon, Punctuation, and Subject-Verb Agreement.

The language is shifting under your very tongue in ways that might surprise you. A Dictionary of Modern American Usage is intended to divert and entertain while providing guidance on where to stand if you want to avoid linguistic fault lines. My guidance is a blend of the traditional and the modern. I favor keeping our continuity with the past without letting the language become petrified. And I try to be down-to-earth. So forget "It's I."

How did I get into this?

At the age of 15, I realized that the use of the English language was my main intellectual interest. That being so, David Foster Wallace says in Harper's magazine that I must have been "repeatedly and savagely wedgied" as a teenager. Not so -- though I take his point. Actually, I kept my long forays to the college library a little secret within the family and still lettered in golf, led the high school band as drum major, and acted in school plays. By my junior year, when I had acquired the habit of occasionally using big words ("epizeuxis" and "ignoratio elenchi" were among my favorites), I was too big for the kind of abuse Wallace imagines. It took a few more years for me to outgrow this annoying habit of using big words, but in the meantime I worked assiduously to build my vocabulary.

And I had discovered my favorite literary genre: the dictionary of usage. H. W. Fowler, Wilson Follett, Theodore Bernstein, and Eric Partridge had become my literary heroes. By the time I was ready for college, I had essentially memorized everything that these writers had said about English usage -- in the same way that other kids memorize sports stats or car models. Not just any linguistic facts interested me: They had to be genuinely useful facts. They had to help me (or anyone) write better.

In college, studying liberal arts at the University of Texas, I was drawn to courses on literature, rhetoric, literary criticism, and the history of the English language. My plan was still, as it had been in high school, to become a lawyer and use my rhetorical skills within the law. But my success in publishing articles on Shakespearean language -- and the encouragement of my undergraduate mentors, the Shakespearean specialist John W. Velz and the linguistic historian Thomas Cable -- led me to flirt with pursuing a Ph.D. in English, with a focus on lexicography. I almost went that route.

But no. My fiancée (now my wife), a graduate student in political science, said she was convinced that I was meant to be a lawyer -- not an English professor. I agreed. When law school began, I was immediately struck by how many archaic phrases -- Elizabethan phrases -- were popping up in the judicial decisions I was reading. I went to the library to see what scholars had written about legal language, found very little to my liking, and immediately decided to write a book about legal language. Within the first week of law school, I had named it A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage. I wanted it to do for lawyers what H. W. Fowler had done for writers at large.

I ended up founding LawProse, Inc., which provides seminars for lawyers on brief writing and contract drafting. I wrote or edited more books on law and language, most notably The Elements of Legal Style and Black's Law Dictionary. I've now produced four editions of Black's -- the unabridged deluxe, the regular unabridged, the abridged, and the pocket. My whole approach to legal lexicography has been to try to make the law as accessible as possible to everyone -- to persuade lawyers that it's not in their best interests to use highfalutin jargon and gobbledygook. After all, avoiding these bad habits promotes clear thinking.

But my first love is the English language -- not just the legal part of the English language. So when Oxford asked me to write a dictionary of American usage, I was delighted at the prospect of broadening my horizons and dealing with the English language as a whole. Since I was following Fowler's model, I called it A Dictionary of Modern American Usage. The idea was to provide a guide for educated Americans who want an answer to the question, "Can I say this and still have credibility with readers and listeners?" My intended readers, quite simply, are educated people -- students, businesspeople, professors, novelists, nonfiction writers, newscasters, you name it -- who want authoritative guidance on where the language stands today.

"May I split an infinitive?" (Yes, but first you really need to know what one is.) "May I split a verb phrase?" (You'd better: Any other placement is awkward. And grammarians have consistently said -- there's a split!-- this since 1782!) "May I end a sentence with a preposition?" (If you want to. I have a two-page essay on the subject.) "Should I use the serial comma?" (Yes, unless you're a journalist.) On and on the questions go. My rulings -- since I'm playing the role of judge -- add up to a kind of linguistic jurisprudence. Like any judge, I have biases. Mine are in favor of clarity, simplicity, and credibility. (Bryan A. Garner)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2003

    The key to any good law class.

    The additions that were made in this book are very helpful. The part on contexts are the most useful; I will be able to use this book for years to come.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2003

    Great for Public Administration

    A great reference book for public administrators or those interested in the Law. Bought when i was writing federal regulations to help me with understanding legal cites from Congress. Used now as a desk reference. Recommend at least one Latin course prior to purchase.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2002

    Excellent reference

    Got this for Christmas 2002. It's perfect for law students and criminal justice pupils.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2002

    The Bible of Debate...

    As a debator, Black's is the ultimate source for all the definitions that I need to know for my cases!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2002

    A book of truth one of many by this author.

    I am an independant student of law and this book covers many of the uncovered truths of real law.It doesn't focus on statutes. Great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2002

    Great for Law Students!

    As a student of law, I have found this book to be indispensable. It covers everything you need from IRAC to the constitution. A must for all serious law professionals.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2000

    Great Resource

    I have been using this book as a reference in my undergrad law classes and my classmates call me at home to look up words for them. Overall a good investment and will be a life long friend for the future lawyer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2003

    great for a debater

    if you have a son or daughter in LD debate, this is the best book to define your case!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2002

    Blacks Law Dictionary!!!

    This book is the best gift you can give to a Law student

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2002

    The Only Dictionary for Law

    This is the authoritative dictionary for the Law. It has everything and makes a great gift for any lawyer or student of the law.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2002

    Black's is Great For Law Students

    Trying to find a present for my brother's graduation from law school was pretty difficult. That was until I asked two lawyers what he would need. They both said Black's Law Dictionary. Now that my brother is graduated, he is using it to study for the bar and said he will definitely need it during his career.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2001

    Black's Is Best

    This is an outstanding reference tool for anyone in the legal profession. As a police officer, I have found this law dictionary to be the best of many that I have utilized.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2009

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