Mea Culpa: A heartfelt appeal against American legalese

John Rentoul on questions of style and usage in last week’s Independent

Sunday 01 March 2020 00:26
Comments
Grant Shapps is not appealing
Grant Shapps is not appealing

The English language is changing before our eyes. Conventional British English has long been that you “appeal against” a court’s verdict, but the American usage of simply “appealing” a verdict is gaining ground over here.

We used both forms last week. Our news report of the Harvey Weinstein decision said: “The defence team has said it will appeal the verdict.” Whereas our editorial said: “Weinstein’s lawyer immediately announced the intention to appeal against the verdict.”

In a story about Mo Farah’s coach, we said: “Salazar has rejected the findings by US arbitrators and has appealed his four-year ban.” But in another report of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing, we said: “The decision, which is expected months later, is likely to be appealed against by the losing side.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in