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|English to English translations [PRO]|
Law/Patents - Law: Contract(s) / Contracts
|English term or phrase: notwithstanding|
|I am trying to resolve a dispute in the English>Arabic language pair. The question revolves around the use of the word "notwithstanding" in contracts. The context provided reads:|
Notwithstanding anything in the Articles of this agreement herein elsewhere, the total liability of the seller will be $20,000.
The respondents are so far divided into two groups:
Group One understands "notwithstanding" in the quoted sentence as a proposition that essentially means "in spite of." It means that regardless of what else might be mentioned in the contract to the contrary, the seller's total liability will be $20,000.
Group Two understands "notwithstanding" in exactly the opposite sense: The total seller liability is $20,000, but anything mentioned in the contract to the contrary shall prevail.
I am siding with the first group based on my understanding of plain English, but Group Two claims experience in the subject matter and in this kind of technical language.
Can those of you who have experience in texts of this nature parse this one for us? What does "notwithstanding" really mean here? Does it mean the same thing as in other contexts, or does it have a special, possibly contrary, meaning in contracts?
I thank you all on behalf of my English>Arabic colleagues.
|in spite of|
I believe there is only one meaning for notwithstanding when it is used as a preposition, and that is in spite of. And so I agree with you Fuad. Regardless of what is stated in the articles, the liability is $20,000. $20,000.
Note added at 2002-08-14 05:50:57 (GMT)
Maybe the confusion may is based on the following native speaker error:
Modern American Usage, Wilson Follett: \"The commonest trouble with \'contrary\' as a noun occurs in the accurate and standard locution \'to the contrary nothwithstanding,\' which has attained some currency in a mutilated form that lops off \'nothwithstanding.\' Undoubtedly this practice defers to a feeling that a four-syllable, fifteen-letter word is something to avoid if one can. The question is: Can one? \'She believed, all previous expereriences to the contrary, that her new book would restore her to favor ... Unfortunately [in all these examples] the omitted \'notwithstanding\' is the word that does the work. Without it the idiom is as unpowered as a balloon. For \'all previous experiences to the contrary\' must be negated by some word, or the meaning is lost. A writer who finds \'notwithstanding\' unacceptable for this negative word had better give up \'to the contrary\' as well. The construction can often be replaced by \'in spite of\' or \'despite,\' with a gain in brevity: in spite of all previous experiences.\"
Selected response from:
Local time: 19:53
|Thanks, Kim, and thanks everybody for educating me on this interesting point.|
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer
12 mins confidence: peer agreement (net): +4