jayshep

20 ways to write like a tool

5th of July, 2013

I used to write a column for the world’s biggest law blog, Above the Law. I sometimes wrote about writing, which lawyers inevitably struggle with despite its being such a major part of their profession. This post was my most popular, with more than 50,000 views and 1,300 Facebook likes. Enjoy … Ever see Fight

500-word boxes

Little boxes of words

3rd of July, 2013

One of the hardest things about writing a book is the tendency to get overwhelmed by the size of the project. It can be debilitating when you’re struggling to get a hundred words onto the page and you still have to write another hundred thousand. To fight this, I make a bunch of little boxes

The 100 most niveous words

25th of June, 2013

I was minding my own business, trolling through Twitter (follow me at @jayshep), when I came across a tweet that caught my attention: a list of (purportedly) the 100 most beautiful words in the English language. (Hat tip to @lmaverick and @jordan_law21.) I was intrigued. I love language and writing, and I was curious to

Thou shall not …

25th of June, 2013

Lawyers love to use the word shall. It seems more impressive somehow than a mere will. Certainly far more regal than going to. (Dueling examples: “I shall attend the inaugural ball.” “I’m going to go to Monster Truck World.” See?) And we know how lawyers like to sound impressive. Actually, does anyone ever say shall?

Trade Secrets — Chapter One

25th of June, 2013

Many of you know that I’ve just finished writing my first thriller. During my career as a trade-secret litigator, I was always struck by how fiercely corporations would fight to protect their secrets. Some would do almost anything. So I got to wondering: what if a company would do anything—even kill—to protect its secrets? When

One less grammar post to read

25th of June, 2013

The cool thing about English is that no matter how well you think you know it, there’s always something more you can learn. Every so often, I discover that I had been making a mistake. In this case, it involved the words less and fewer. I considered myself reasonably well educated when it comes to