Here is a sampling of some law words which have been used long and often, with never a healthy smell of precision about them," wrote Prof. Mellinkoff of the University of California at Los Angeles law school in his book, "The Language of the Law."
"They are flabby words, and in addition many of them are treacherous . . .Were it not for the fact that they have been used repeatly, traditionally by other lawyers, no lawyer alive would independtly choose any of these words."
Among the words he lists: AFORESAID
"This lay combination from Middle English has been causing trouble for more than 300 years. Its purpose is to refer to something that has beeen said, and its chief vice is that you can't be sure what it refers to." FORTHWITH
"The fact this is Middle English dating from an age when miracles were more common and kings were accustomed to being obeyed right now has given forthwith an air of imagined urgency. Like presto! and offf with his head ! But as with other tome words, forthwith suffers from uncertainty if it is permitted to wander loose." WHEREAS
"One of the most persistently typical and most consistently vague words in the language of the law. It has as many meanings as you have patience, some of them poles apart. One moment whereas mean the-fact-is , and the next moment it reverses course to mean in-spite-of-the-fact ; now it is considering that , now it is on-the-contrary ." AND/OR
"This unfortunate expression . . . has been clouding the law for more than 100 years anf has roots that go centuries deeper into the English translation of Latin conjunctions . . .It has belligerent enthusiasts within the profession, although the very first time it was called into question, in 1854, and and/or was given not one but three meanings, and ever since it has been the repeated and direct cause of uncertaintty, litigation and courtroom failure." HEREAFTER
"This Old English word has been wandering in the wilderness of the common speech for more than 1,000 years, now pointing to the next-in-order, now to the world-to-come. For the law, hereafter is equally uncertain, usually looking to the future but never seeing it very clearly."