ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Importance of Appropriate Word Choice

This isn't much of a contracts story, but luckily most things can be connected to contract law.

Contractual obligation distills to what it appears the parties intended to promise to do. And, the first indicator of what the parties intended to promise is the language they use. Word choice is hyper-important. And intricate language gaffes and malapropisms abound, teaching us lessons we can apply to contract drafting. (See, e.g., "Bushisms," though some of these gaffes aren't word choice, but word creation or problems with subject-verb agreement).

Word choice is important, and that is why I like this clip of New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, which demonstrates his dislike of the word "maintain."

Apparently, the mayor's favorite word is "unconscionable."

[Meredith R. Miller]

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