Document Type

Article

Comments

Toward a More Systematic Drafting and Interpreting of the Internal Revenue Code: Expenses, Losses and Bad Debts (with G. Orechkoff), 25 University of Chicago Law Review 1 (1957)

Abstract

upposE that you, as a reasonable man, are asked whether the following

two sets of rules mean exactly the same thing. If they do and if you

intend to communicate your message as effectively as possible, which

of the two sets would you choose to state the organizational rules of your

law school?

Set 1

A. The financial committee shall be

chosen from among the general committee.

B. No one shall be a member of both

the general and library committees

unless he is also on the financial committee.

C. No member of the library committee

shall be on the financial committee.,

Set 2

A. The financial committee shall be

chosen from among the general committee.

B. No member of the general committee

shall be on the library committee.

We suspect that most readers will have little difficulty in deciding the second

question; but even after careful reading of the two sets of rules, they will

remain a little puzzled as to whether both sets say the same thing. We further

suspect that lawyers waste a great deal of their mental energy by using inadequate

and inappropriate intellectual tools to figure out similar logical problems

in their everyday work. A symbolic logician could quickly ascertain that the

two sets of rules are equivalent and relieve his mind to focus on the more important

problem of deciding which is the more appropriate choice.

Date of Authorship for this Version

1957

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