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authors & audience language & style

Saved by the rules, bothered by the exceptions

File this under know your audience. A classmate asked for help to understand an excerpt from the rules of professional conduct.

An Immigration Consultant shall not represent parties with potentially conflicting interests in an immigration matter, save after adequate disclosure to and with the consent of the parties, and shall not act or continue to act in a matter when there is or is likely to be a conflict of interest.

The word save can be used as a verb, noun, preposition, and conjunction. Save used as literary term is out of context when found in policies and procedures writing. Don’t do it. Constructed as such, it’s not immediately evident that an exception follows the rule.

In the context of writing policy you want to deconstruct it something like this.

Rule:  An Immigration Consultant shall not represent parties with…
Exception:  Only after adequate disclosure to…

February update: The U.S. “brain-dead immigration system” is more reason to come to Canada. Read the article.

By Pam Drucker

Documentation specialist, procedures writer

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