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With the words of David Mellinkoff, "[t]he law is a profession of words" as the starting point, the paper surveys some of the distinctive characteristics of English legal language as seen in vocabulary, syntax and discourse. It also discusses some of the approaches currently applied to account for the use of the English language in various legal settings.doi:10.11220/mea1984.2002.1 fatcat:rsqsum6ws5goteg57zo4wv4bni