I heard this week on Radio 4’s Today programme that Dothraki is an actual language. For those of you who have not yet been caught up in the phenomenon that is Game of Thrones, this is the language spoken by one of the tribes, which I had assumed was made up as the actors went along. In fact the producers of the show commissioned a new language of 3,400 words, which is at least enough for John Humphries to introduce the sports section of the radio programme in Dothraki.
This got me to thinking about the importance of language in divorce. The words that divorce lawyers use on the telephone and in their letters can make a huge impact. So much so that Resolution, the organisation of divorce lawyers who try to use a conciliatory approach to family law, require members to think about the long term consequences of their actions – and words.
Receiving a letter from a solicitor may be intimidating. Receiving a letter from a solicitor who is writing to you about your children, and which is written in jargon as incomprehensible as Dothraki, does not help anyone. It is not necessary for cases to be conducted in this way – and as a Resolution member and a trained Collaborative lawyer, I have seen many times at first hand the power of choosing appropriate language.
It is easy to forget the power of words – but as a divorce lawyer, it is important that I choose mine with care.
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