His Finest Act In Office Was His Last
Here's an amusing item from the wonderful linguistics web site Language Log. The post is about legalese, and it contains this paragraph:
In Legal Writing: Sense and Nonsense he [legal scholar David Mellinkoff] pleaded for clear and unadorned language with no superfluous verbiage. My favorite example was his analysis of Richard Nixon's resignation letter, August 9, 1974. It's only one sentence long: "I hereby resign the Office of President of the United States." But, as Mellinkoff points out, it's still much longer than it needs to be: all he needed to say was "I resign."I certainly consider that letter the finest piece of writing Nixon ever did, although I admit my reasons are not primarily linguistic . . .
Tags: Language Log, David Mellinkoff, Richard Nixon