same (1). Today: As a Pronoun in Legalese. This usage, commonly exemplified in the phrase “acknowledging same,” is a primary symptom of legalese. H.W. Fowler wrote trenchantly that it “is avoided by all who have any skill in writing” and that those who use it seem bent on giving the worst possible impression of themselves (Modern English Usage 1st ed. at 511). The words “it,” “them,” and the noun itself (e.g., “the envelope”) are words that come naturally to us all; “same” or “the same” is an unnatural expression: o “Even though such a witness discloses a new lead, it is better to make note of same [read ‘that fact’], but not to depart from the original objective until its possibilities have been exhausted.” Asher L. Cornelius, The Cross-Examination of Witnesses 18-19 (1929). o “Equity enabled them to hold any kind of property in trust for their own benefit, and to dispose of the same [read ‘it’] at pleasure.” Stephen Pfeil, “Law,” 17 Encyclopedia Americana 86, 90 (1953). As these examples illustrate, the phrase is rendered sometimes with the definite article, sometimes without. Next: As a Pronoun Generally. For information about the Language-Change Index, click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “One finds in current American all the characters and tendencies that marked the rich English of Shakespeare’s time — an eager borrowing of neologisms from other languages, a bold and often very ingenious use of metaphor, and a fine disdain of the barricades separating the parts of speech.” H.L. Mencken, “The American Language,” 25 Yale Rev. 537, 544 (1936) (as quoted in The Ordeal of American English 53, 55 (C. Merton Babcock ed., 1961)).
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