“Strive”—Another Picturesque Alternative to “Efforts”

In this 2010 post on AdamsDrafting I considered use of aggressively as an unhelpful alternative to reasonable efforts.

Well, in the same vein I now offer you … strive! Three examples:

CNH Capital shall strive to respond to credit applications within two (2) weeks following receipt of all requested information and material.

During the Employment Period, Executive … (iv) shall perform Executive’s duties and responsibilities hereunder to the best of his abilities in a diligent, trustworthy, businesslike and efficient manner and shall strive to promote the success and best interests of the Entities.

Both Buyer and Seller shall strive to achieve a 100% service level.

Although I like its Horatio Alger vibe, I say ixnay to strive.

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.

3 thoughts on ““Strive”—Another Picturesque Alternative to “Efforts””

  1. I like strive a lot! It’s short, Anglo-Saxon, active, and more vivid than “try,” “attempt,” and “make reasonable efforts,” the last of which now looks like a “buried” form of strive. 

    If a contract used the term many times, or if its meaning were important, I’d define it (“strive means make reasonable efforts”), not capitalize it, and use it in place of “make reasonable efforts” to ease reading by reducing the MEGO effect (“my eyes glaze over”).


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