Epic Fail

Someone should write a Green Bag article about the use of “fail” in law review articles. Many authors respond to other scholars with phrases such as “Professor X fails to consider that …” or “This argument fails because …” It’s a bit of a tic; I personally find it a little off-putting.

“Fail” appears a lot in briefs and judicial opinions too. One of my reviewers at work almost invariably replaces it with “does not” — e.g., “Professor X does not consider that ….” That may be more appropriate but it doesn’t quite convey the right sense of moral outrage!

What about the converse, “succeeds”… like “this argument succeeds …”?

James, believe me, lawyers earn more than editors. Stick to law.

I fail to discern your point, James.