How to avoid tricks and traps in commercial contracts by looking at basic rules of grammar, language, and correct sentence structures. Let’s look at some “ground rules”. According to “New Webster Dictionary Of The English Language” 1969,
“A simple sentence is the expression of a single thought. It can also be an independent clause.
So that every clause consists of a SUBJECT, (the thing being talked about) a VERB, (which makes a statement about the subject) and when the verb is not complete, an OBJECT or a PREDICATE NOUN or ADJECTIVE (with a linking verb).
And the remaining words in the clause are MODIFIERS of one of those elements.
Making it possible to account for the use of every word in any sentence.
PARSE = To analyse or describe grammatically; to show the several parts of speech composing (a sentence) and their relation to each other by government or agreement.
SYNTAX = Arrangement, disposition, from SYN = “with” and TAXIS = “order”, from TASSO, to put in order.
So “syntax” means the construction of sentences; the due arrangement of words or members of sentences in their mutual relations according to established usage.
Every time you make any presumptions or assumptions, you open the door to tricks and traps in Commercial Contracts, by your own volition. (“Volition” means you “volunteer”, you make those choices yourself.)
In computer-speak, “garbage in – garbage out”. E.g, if you enter wrong data into a computer, when it’s time to retrieve information, all you’ll get is the same garbage back.
Same with “truth”.
And the same with “fiction”.
Tricks and Traps in Adhesion Contracts
Now think about all the documents you put your signature to at the age of eighteen upto today… maybe an application for a driver licence, or registering to vote on the electoral roll, applying for a credit card, a mobile phone, or even ticking boxes on websites in agreement to the “terms and Conditions”.
All those applications and registrations, in the world of legalese and commerce, are all “adhesion contracts”.
And as you’ll discover in this series of articles, none of those contracts say anything of value, they are all “smoke and mirrors” put together in such a way to trick you.
How is that possible?
Think about this for a moment. Whether you are reading this article in Iceland, Hungary, Afghanistan, Argentina or Australia, the English language has the same rules, so that anyone who can read English will receive the same message that you are getting right now.
Order Of Operations In Commercial Contracts
There’s international standards for the Use of English all around the globe, to enable commerce to run smoothly between companies, nations, businesses and individuals, worldwide.
That’s how it’s possible to buy stuff on Ebay from Russia, Germany, USA or any-where else around the world. Those International Standards also include rules about the order of operations.
Another point to consider is the relationships parts of speech have with each other, that affect the use and meaning of words. An example is the word “Table” which can be used as both a Noun, ( such as a dining table) or as a verb (to table an agenda).
When you understand these rules, you’ll avoid falling for tricks and traps in Commercial Contracts.
It’s the same with mathematics, because there are rules about the order of operations in mathematics.
So if someone asks you the answer to “what is 4 plus 4 divided by 4”, you’ll say the answer is TWO, right?
Wrong. 4+4/4 does not equal 2
The correct answer is 5.
Because in mathematics, all around the world, regardless of what language you speak, or what culture you are part of, there’ are international rules of mathematics and order of operations.
In any equation or math problem, first comes the brackets ( y )
Second comes the multiply “X”
Third comes division “ / “
Fourth you subtract (minus) “ – “
And last, you ADD “+”
So what is the answer to 4+4/4 ?
To perform that calculation, it’s easier if you put the brackets around the division part:
What’s the answer to 4 + (4/4) ?
First divide 4/4 = 1
Then add 4 + 1 = 5
Tricks and Traps With Assumptions and Presumptions
When using the English Language, you can look at any large Dictionary, or any “Style Manual” published around the world, and you’ll find a section that explains “parts of speech”
Parts of Speech is (from your school days), learning about verbs and adverbs and pronouns and nouns. After that it gets a little more tricky with things like “prepositions” and “past participles” and other stuff that’s quickly forgotten.
Verbs, we are taught, are “doing” words. Like running, walking, shouting, eating.
And Nouns were “things” like table, chair, tree, bird.
Again, Pronouns were “proper names” like “Jeff”, “McIntyre”, “London”, “Oscar”.
But, what if what we are taught, is not correct? Well, not TOTALLY correct.
It’s a bit like being pregnant. You either are pregnant, or you are not pregnant. You can’t be “sort of” pregnant, or “half” pregnant.
And that’s the same with English (or any other language), it can’t be “half correct”, otherwise it creates confusion and misunderstanding, which comes about because people make assumptions and presumptions.
So here we are, right back at the beginning of this conversation… Stay tuned for Part_2, discovering the Hidden Art Of Trickery In Written Documents And Contracts.
There’s more articles here…
We welcome your feedback in the comments box below 🙂