The term «to make a law» as negative linguistic and social phenomenon

  •  V. M. Demchenko Doctor of philological sciences, docent, Associate Professor of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Kherson National Technical University
Keywords: Ukrainian language, tracing form, legislation, term, to make, to approve, codification.


The article proves that the term «to make a law / decision» not only violates the lexical and semantic system of the Ukrainian language as a direct tracing of Russian, but also is a negative phenomenon in the social dimension, because although it is semantically illogical, it is used by experienced speakers, including professional rhetoricians. This phenomenon is most dangerous at the level of legislation, where the term is used in all government documents. People understand that that’s a mistake, but they still unknowingly make it.

The aim of the article is to prove the illogicality and inorganicity of the term «to make a law», in particular its component – the verb to make – at the level of scientific speech and legislation of Ukraine. Some similar tracing forms that violate the lexical and semantic structure of the Ukrainian language are also given.

The scientific novelty lies in the substantiation of the concepts of «excessive stylistic distinction» and «replication of tracing forms» in the context of the language of Ukrainian legislation; in the additional labeling of Russian-speaking tracing paper also as components of a negative linguistic and social phenomenon, which consists in the inviolability of stereotypes of colonial thinking under the influence of the metropolitan language (in our case, Russian); in determining the semantic inconsistency of the traced term with the concept denoted by it, taking into account Ukrainian linguistic features and traditions.

Conclusions. The norms of Ukrainian orthography have the same legal status as legal codes and other state acts, and therefore must be strictly enforced, regardless of any long tradition or habit. Such traditional errors are the numerous forms copied from the Russian language, in particular the models of «to make…» and «…legal» analyzed in this article, which are thus a negative phenomenon, as they have been used for many years by teachers and scholars, politicians and publicists.

The first of them is semantically ambiguous, because the verb to make denotes in this context the physical action of accepting a document in hand, which violates the main principle of terminology – the uniqueness of the term. The second model directly violates the rule defined in Spelling, textbooks and manuals on the Ukrainian language, according to which such words should be written together, and not with a hyphen (that is publiclaw, not public-law). Thus, in the first model it is necessary to use the verb to approve, which denotes the complex of preparation – approval – implementation of the document, and the verb to make should be generally derived from scientific terminology. The second model needs to be discussed in terms of writing together, but clearly the version with a hyphen should be perceived as a mistake and a violation of the laws of the Ukrainian language.


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How to Cite
Demchenko,  V. M. (2021). The term «to make a law» as negative linguistic and social phenomenon . Scientific Papers of the Legislation Institute of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, (4), 24-30.