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Subject:Re: Grammar and the law From:"Robert E. Allen" <re_allen -at- PNL -dot- GOV> Date:Mon, 23 May 1994 14:57:03 GMT
In article <9405201700 -dot- tn325982 -at- aol -dot- com>, BurkBrick -at- aol -dot- com says:
>Joe Fockler related this anecdote about commas:
>>Upon the death of a wealthy man, his will was probated.
>>According to the will, the man's wealth was to be divided equally
>>among "Mary, Bob and Jim." Due to the placement of the comma,
>>Mary received 50% and Bob and Jim split the remaining 50%.
>>Mary was considered one "element" and "Bob and Jim" were
>>considered one "element."
>I've often wondered about how nit-picky grammar points fare in court battles.
I have a friend who was a lawyer. Her specialty was preparing the offering
for municipal bond issues. $100,000,000 bond issues!!! She said it was
pretty boring and no one really cared what she wrote unless there was
a default. Then every comma, every flyspeck on the page, became
a major legal issue.
Now she writes romance novels. The pay isn't as good, but her readers
do read every word.
PS If you go in for romance novels set in the American frontier, check
out Joan Johnston. (Personally, I'll stick to science fiction.)