phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Contracts again

Posted by TheFallen on March 13, 2003

In Reply to: Confusing even to native speakers posted by Chinese on March 13, 2003

::the Contractor may give a notice to the Project Manager requesting the issue of an Operational Acceptance Certificate in the form provided in the Bidding Documents or in another form acceptable to the Employer in respect of the Facilities or the part thereof specified in such notice as of the date of such notice.

: requesting the issue, the contractor request the issue, or the Project Manager who request the issue?

::I am pretty sure it's the Contractor. This is sentence is appalling. I am only about 80% sure *I* know what it means.

: but this is a contract, how can they write it so ambiguously? Can you give me more ideas?

It's not actually ambiguous, but it's written in a very stylised, complex, unclear and fussy form of English that seems to be the norm for the majority of contracts. I have no clue why contracts are so often drawn up with such a lack of regard for plain and "easily understood" English, though I suspect that a contract lawyer would argue that such complexity is needed precisely to avoid any ambiguity. Personally, I'd disagree, but there are one or two lawyers who post on this board that may give you an opinion.