Rick Hasen links to a newly published Legislative Drafter's Deskbook. MMmmm. I get woozy just thinking about it. Just check out that hot table of contents.
Scroll through that puppy - there's even sample text. Like this section on "Shall" and "May." Man, this sh*t is bananas. You think I'm kidding. You're wrong.
Of course, books like this (judging from the shall/may discussion) highlight the best and worst of what makes lawyers lawyers and legislators legislators and drafters of legislation the conflicted lot that they are.
Because, as good as the drafter gets - as carefully as she hones her skill, pouring over each word and comma - there will always be, at least in California, some staffer feeling the heat of an anxious boss explaining why bills need to be worded just. like. this. And poof! There goes all your hard work.
The morale of the tale: no matter how closely you study the two languages, fluency between the first and third branch is impossible because practice gets in the way.
But I'd still enjoy that book.
Wait. A hundred-fifty bucks? Nerdery doesn't come cheap these days, does it.