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Old 07-08-2015, 12:56 PM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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Punctuation.

Even people who failed high school English realize the internet holds a nightmare of murdered language and punctuation.

Wats a problem dude we no wat we sayin?

In the real world it's important, especially if it ends up in court. Examples.

Quote:
In Ward v. Ward, a North Carolina court’s entire finding rested on the presence of a single comma. The will of Alvin T. Ward read:

My Trustee is directed to pay such amounts of and from the income generated by said trust, and from the principal of said trust if he deems same to be advisable, to, for, or on account of my said wife in quarterly installments or more frequently if he deems advisable and if practicable.

Is the trustee required to pay the income to Ward’s wife, or can he use his discretion? The income payments are required, ruled the court: The comma after “said trust” shows that only the distribution of the principal is left to the trustee’s judgment.
-----
In Henderson v. State, Jacob Henderson’s 1984 burglary conviction in Mississippi was reversed in part because of a misplaced period:

The Grand Jurors for the State of Mississippi, … upon their oaths present: That Jacob Henderson … on the 15th day of May, A.D., 1982.

This is a “non-sentence,” noted the court. “The unmistakable period after 1982 is used by astute defense counsel to nail down the point — that the indictment fails to charge that Jacob Henderson did anything on May 15, 1982.”
------
And in People v. Vasquez, a New York court disregarded an affidavit and dismissed a complaint because a misplaced comma made it unclear whether a key affidavit was hearsay:

“It may be that the confusion [about the affidavit] arises from the typographical error of placing a comma before the expression ‘upon information and belief,'” wrote the court. “Had the comma not existed, the entire expression ‘and that the assertion upon information and belief’ would have referred back to the earlier mentioned accusatory instruments so as to render the affidavit non-hearsay.”
Getting it in writing may not be enough.
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:41 PM   #2
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Old 07-08-2015, 03:16 PM   #3
Happy Monkey
I think this line's mostly filler.
 
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Quote:
My Trustee is directed to pay such amounts of and from the income generated by said trust, and from the principal of said trust if he deems same to be advisable, to, for, or on account of my said wife in quarterly installments or more frequently if he deems advisable and if practicable.

Quote:
Is the trustee required to pay the income to Ward’s wife, or can he use his discretion? The income payments are required, ruled the court: The comma after “said trust” shows that only the distribution of the principal is left to the trustee’s judgment.
That sounds like it was the intent of the trust, and punctuated properly. The beneficiary is guaranteed the income, and if circumstances justify dipping into the principal, then the trustee can decide. If it got to court, then the trustee was trying to stop paying the trust's beneficiary even out of income.
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Old 07-08-2015, 05:16 PM   #4
xoxoxoBruce
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I guessed the wife(beneficiary) wanted more money the trustee didn't think was necessary, but that comma killed her case in court. He had probably talked to the husband when he got the job and instructed to limit the payments so the trust would last, or be passed down a generation. But he was given the flexibility to adjust for unexpected shit hitting the fan.
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Old 07-08-2015, 06:58 PM   #5
Happy Monkey
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Quote:
Is the trustee required to pay the income to Ward’s wife, or can he use his discretion? The income payments are required, ruled the court: The comma after “said trust” shows that only the distribution of the principal is left to the trustee’s judgment.
I read this as saying that the court ruled that she must be paid the income, regardless of the trustee's discretion. The trustee can decide whether it is justified to, additionally, pay her from the principal.

Apparently someone was trying to claim that the "trustee's discretion" clause also applied to income payment, and therefore the trustee could decide not to pay her the income. I guessed that the trustee would be the most likely one to make that claim.

As I read it, the actual order agrees with my interpretation. It appears that the trustee had floated the idea of not paying her the entire trust income, and she sued to get the clause clarified.
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:30 PM   #6
xoxoxoBruce
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Reading it, I think your right that he at least mentioned (or threatened) it was up to him whether she got all the income.
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:36 PM   #7
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Commas...
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:36 AM   #8
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:31 AM   #9
footfootfoot
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.
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Old 07-09-2015, 06:53 PM   #10
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Oh that's brilliant.
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by footfootfoot View Post
Commas...
This!
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by footfootfoot View Post
Commas...
That was outstanding, actually.
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by footfootfoot View Post
Commas...
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:29 AM   #14
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Name:  percontation point irony mark.JPG
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Old 12-14-2015, 12:15 PM   #15
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I'll just leave this here
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