Off topic: $2.13 million dollars for a comma
Thread poster: LegalTransform
| | LegalTransform
Local time: 11:28
Spanish to English
| Not only the comma... || Aug 7, 2006 |
To me, this is a problem of obscure drafting in general. The way it is written, comma or no comma, it is difficult to interpret that the contract is "locked" for the first five years.
“This is a classic case of where the placement of a comma has great importance,” Aliant said.
Again, to me, this is a classic case of where the choosing of the laywers has great importance.
| | Hester Eymers
Local time: 17:28
English to Dutch
| Eats, shoots and leaves || Aug 8, 2006 |
The lawyers are absolutely right, in my opinion. A contract should be written and read carefully, including comma's.
There is a quite famous book (and joke) about punctuation by Lynne Truss. It is called 'Eats, shoots and leaves':
A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.
"Why?" asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
"Well, I'm a panda," he says at the door. "Look it up."
The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. "Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."
A similar joke is told in Australia, where an Australian male is compared to a wombat because he "eats, roots, and leaves". (The verb "to root" in Australian colloquial usage means to have sexual intercourse.) [Source: Wikipedia]
And the fun goes on: When Truss was driven to an award ceremony she told the driver that she wrote a book on punctuation. The cab-driver said: "Well, you'd better not be late then." [Source: again Wikipedia]
'Eats, shoots and leaves' is very instructive and amusing as well. For those who speak Dutch: it has been translated into Dutch ('Eten, vuren en beuken').
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$2.13 million dollars for a comma
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