Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: judgment.

judgment. Part A: Spelling. “Judgment” is the preferred form in American English and in British legal texts, even as far back as the 19th century. “Judgement” is prevalent in British nonlegal texts and was thought by H.W. Fowler to be the better form (Modern English Usage 1 at 310). Part B: American and British Legal Senses. In American English, a “judgment” is the final decisive act of a court in defining the rights of the parties {the judgment constituted the final decree}. In British English, “judgment” is commonly used in the sense in which “judicial opinion” is used in American English. Part C: “Court judgment.” This phrase is a redundancy, though an understandable one when the likely readers are nonlawyers. For example, the following book’s title might have misled general readers if the word “court” had been removed: Gini G. Scott et al., Collect Your Court Judgment (1991). For more information about the Language-Change Index click here. Quotation of the Day: “There must be cohesion and continuity. The writer, seized by an idea, will keep right on writing. He will not go back at the second paragraph two or three times before writing the third. So long as original writing is under way and going well, he will keep the copy flowing. Then, the article completed, he will pause, hand over the reins to his intelligence, and start polishing and amending.” Royal Bank of Canada, The Communication of Ideas 100-01 (rev. ed. 1972).
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