A Nuance of Vagueness

I’ve long wrestled to articulate what I sensed was a distinction between two vague words, promptly and substantial. Here’s my latest attempt:

Different vague words might pose different challenges. For example, in a given context the time constraints might be clear-cut enough so that there’s little room for dispute over what’s required for a party to act promptly. By contrast, a provision subject to a substantial standard might leave the parties wondering at what point along a spectrum from nothing to everything something has to be before it’s substantial.

That is all.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.