Oddball Usage of the Day: “Includes Only”

What’s wrong with this picture:

“Subsidiary” includes only any company in which the applicable entity, directly or indirectly, has a beneficial ownership interest of greater than 50 percent.

Well, includes only equates to means— what includes gives, only takes away. So use instead means.

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.

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