Thursday, March 24, 2005

Briefs due today

A reader pointed out that newspaperman Bill Walsh acknowledged the need for the full set of serial commas--at least sometimes--in his book, Lapsing Into a Comma, at page 81. For a journalist to acknowledge this is getting somewhere.

Lapsing Into a Comma is a good book, entertaining. Do any readers recommend Walsh's second book, The Elephants of Style? I haven't read it.

My students have an appellate brief due today. I'm getting all sorts of last-minute questions about format, citation, and the word limits. But I must say I feel lucky. The students I work with here at Texas are of high caliber. They generally write well. They're generally responsible. They make my job a pleasant one.

But I will not enjoy applying the law school's rigid grade curve to these 20 briefs. No matter how good the briefs are, I must give some students low grades: they are, after all, competing against each other, and the competition is tough.

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