“It Is Emphasized That”: More Rhetorical Emphasis for Your Enjoyment

I’m sure you recall this 2016 post, in which I listed words and phrases used to add pointless rhetorical emphasis to a contract. Well here’s another such phrase, and it’s a beaut: it is emphasized that. Ain’t nothin more emphatic that using the word emphasized. Here’s an example: It is emphasized that the designer of the unit is not entitled … Read More

“Completely”: Another Example of Rhetorical Emphasis

Although way back in 2008 I wrote about complete and accurate (here), yesterday I realized that I hadn’t written about use of completely as rhetorical emphasis. So I exhumed the following corpses from EDGAR: In addition, all financial data must be completely and accurately recorded in compliance with applicable law and Invesco’s accounting policies and procedures. … the Executive agrees … Read More

More Rhetorical Emphasis: “Each and Every”

“Rhetorical emphasis” is the term I use to refer to a drafter’s not simply saying something, but saying it in a way that shows that they really, really, really mean it. The extra verbiage doesn’t affect meaning, and it’s best omitted. Contracts contain no shortage of examples of rhetorical emphasis; you can find my previous posts on the subject by … Read More

Another Instance of “Best” as Rhetorical Emphasis

You’ve been very kind to tolerate my vendetta against best efforts, or more specifically against the notion that a best efforts obligation requires a greater effort than a reasonable efforts obligation. But I’m not done yet. The foundation of my argument is the notion that the best in best efforts constitutes rhetorical emphasis. I discuss that in this post. And … Read More

Yet More on Rhetorical Emphasis

Today I encountered another form of rhetorical emphasis to add to those noted in MSCD 13.37–38 and in my previous post on the subject. This is from a software license agreement: Licensor shall NOT indemnify, defend or hold Licensee harmless from and against any loss, cost, damage, liability, or expense (including reasonable legal fees) suffered or incurred by Licensee in … Read More

More on Rhetorical Emphasis

In MSCD (13.37–38) I briefly discuss “rhetorical emphasis”—adding verbiage to a provision not to change its meaning but to make it more emphatic. I suggest in MSCD that as a general matter you’re best off dispensing with rhetorical emphasis—the function of drafting is to state rules rather than convince anyone of anything. Nevertheless, one or more parties might feel more … Read More

A List of Rhetorical-Emphasis Contract Usages. (Can You Add to It?)

A feature of traditional contract drafting is adding to provisions that already express the desired meaning usages that serve only to say, And we really mean it! I refer to that as “rhetorical emphasis.” Recently I came upon such usage, in any way. I decided it was high time that I compile a list; you’ll find it below, with an example accompanying each usage. Can … Read More

A Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court Might Want to Consider the Rhetorical Function of “Best”

Last month the Minnesota Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re Petition of S.G., 828 N.W.2d 118 (Minn. 2013) (PDF copy here). This opinion doesn’t involve a contract dispute. Instead, what caught my eye is what is, to my mind, a misunderstanding on the part of the judge writing the concurring opinion. Why bother pointing it out? Because it’s … Read More

“Except to the Extent Prohibited by Law”: Redundant or Not?

[Updated 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time, 25 March 2022] Today in a session of my online course Drafting Clearer Contracts: Masterclass, we found ourselves discussing the phrase except to the extent prohibited by law (and its variants). It’s used to modify obligations. Isn’t it redundant?, someone asked. If you don’t perform the obligation because to do so would be against the … Read More

Book Review: “Garner’s Guidelines for Drafting and Editing Contracts,” by Bryan A. Garner

Bryan Garner is a big name in legal lexicography, litigation writing, and guidance on general English usage. He has a new book out, on contract drafting. It’s called Garner’s Guidelines for Drafting and Editing Contracts, and it’s not good. But first, why write a review? Because using any reference work requires a leap of faith, and book reviews help readers … Read More