I was searching for an old post at Wayne Scheiss’s legal-writring blog and accidentally ran across this nugget from 2005 on use of the word “blatant”:
I’m starting to put it in the same category as “clearly” and “obviously.” It does not persuade. It only draws attention to itself as an effort to sound persuasive. Anytime a word draws attention to itself, it’s not good. And the attention it draws is therefore usually negative attention. I won’t use it in my writing.
I think a judge I worked for on the third circuit while in law school said it best, “the term clearly usually precedes the weakest portion of any argument in a brief.”
I recently received a brief that used the word “facund.” It means eloquent, more or less, but the word sort of jumped off the page and I had to quit reading the brief to go look it up. Then I was just annoyed that the writer had used such an intrusive word (and not impressed).
If you were annoyed, a judge would be, too. Wayne Schiess wrote in a post a few years ago: “[S]how off your big vocabulary in your diary; in public, write so we can understand you quickly and easily.”