Garner's fourth edition reads we accord to plaintiff his due.

Why is this nominal indirect object used without any article at all?

OED: http://oed.com/oed2/00180661

  • 3
    Please add more context, and if possible a link. This sounds like legalese, where articles are dropped possibly more frequently than in headlinese. Mar 16, 2021 at 16:29
  • What @Edwin said. But note this webpage titled Use of Articles from "Cuny School of Law". It uses the word plaintiff in no less than 6 different examples, always preceded by the definite article. Also note that in court, the judge almost always gets an article, but counsel for defence / prosecution generally don't. Mar 16, 2021 at 16:51
  • 2
    @FumbleFingers [LAW] the lawyer or lawyers representing one party or the other in court: [countable] "Does counsel have an objection?'' the judge asked; [uncountable] On the advice of counsel, I refuse to answer. wordreference.com/definition/counsel
    – GJC
    Mar 16, 2021 at 17:00
  • @GJC: That's too complicated for me! I have no idea why your first example counts as "countable", whereas the second one doesn't. And although it's obviously far less common, I have no problem with the actual grammar of pluralised On the advice of counsels.... Mar 16, 2021 at 17:06
  • @FumbleFingers oed.com/oed2/00180661 and oed.com/oed2/00051624
    – GJC
    Mar 16, 2021 at 17:27


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.