Monday, March 6, 2006
Stephen B. Cohen (Georgetown) has posted Words! Words! Words!: Teaching the Language of Tax, 55 J. Legal Educ. ___ (2006). Here is the abstract:
Experienced tax lawyers deal easily with the ambiguous and imprecise terms that pervade tax law and discourse because they understand the intended meaning of a word from context. For students, however, the subtle ways in which meaning depends on context are far from obvious. A teacher of tax therefore must also be a teacher of language. The tax teacher can warn students about confusing terms and suggest alternative words that are more precise. The ultimate goal should be to impart fluency not only in these more precise words but also paradoxically in the ambiguous and imprecise terms that are the source of confusion but with which tax lawyers (for better or worse) continue to write and speak.