Re: Tenses, Gender & Number

Subject: Re: Tenses, Gender & Number
From: "Doug, Data Librarian at Ext 4225" <engstromdd -at- PHIBRED -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 1994 08:41:16 -0500

Bob was baffled and offended by the following passage from vocational

"Tenses, Gender, and Number. As used in this chapter, the present tense
includes the past and future tenses, and the future includes the present;
the masculine gender includes the feminine, and the feminime includes the
masculine; and the singular includes the plural, and the plural includes
the singular."

Sounds to me like an admission that someone doesn't know their grammer.

Actually, it's an admission that mistakes can be made in drafting a law or
regulation. We discussed this in a business law class I took about a year
ago. If no other interpretation is given, there are a bunch of rules about
how to interpret genders, tenses, etc. in the law; sometimes these rules
lead to unexpected interpretations of seemingly ordinary sentences (please
don't ask for examples). However, a specific statement of intent within
the regulation or law can override those rules.

In this case, they seem to be throwing the net as widely as possible, to
ensure that a passage isn't too specific and therefore frustrates the
intent of the law or regulation. Think of it as caulking to keep the
lawyers out.

Doug "All business activity is a struggle
ENGSTROMDD -at- phibred -dot- com between Greed and Fear. Incorporation
means that, in this organization, Fear
has won."

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