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Continued: Lileks: In plain speech, updating the city charter will be an epic task

  • Article by: JAMES LILEKS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 7, 2013 - 11:52 PM

We could probably benefit from a total revision of all the city laws along the lines of “brevity” and “plain language,” so you know whether you’re breaking the law by wearing a hat to a movie about a cafe that has three entrees. But it won’t be easy.

A total of 13,338 people said no to the referendum. By Goshen, what madness is afoot that the otiose and carbuncles language of the law shall be perverted into the breezy demotic patois of the gutter? Nay, a thousand times nay, they said.

One suspects they were lawyers who will lose their jobs when no one needs to hire them to figure out what the charter actually says. Perhaps they should have used ranked choice. First choice: plain language. Second choice: leave it alone. Third: translate to Latin! It might be slightly more comprehensible than it is now.

jlileks@startribune.com • 612-673-7858

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