Fun with Search-and-Replace Glitches

Recently I read a contract that contained scattered search-and-replace glitches. In attempting to remove identifying information, someone had searched for one of the party-name defined terms and replaced it with something generic, with unintended consequences.

I can’t tell you the exact change they made, but it’s as if they had replaced Signa with Vendor and had created as a byproduct scattered instances of the nonwords “Vendorture” and “deVendorte”.

To avoid that sort of thing, make your search-and-replace case sensitive, so it picks up Signa and not signa. And then search for glitches caused by instances of “signature” with a capital “S”—in other words, search for Vendorture. You can use other strategies too.

I invite you to tell us about classic search-and-replace glitches you have encountered.

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.