Parsing Language for Gain: a Pernicious Trade

Montaigne

Montaigne

“Why is it that our common language, so easy for any other use, becomes obscure and unintelligible in contracts and wills, and that a man who expresses himself so clearly, whatever he says or writes, finds in this [the legal] field no way of speaking his mind that does not fall into doubt and contradiction? Unless it is that the princes of this art [lawyers], applying themselves with particular attention to picking out solemn words and contriving artificial phrases, have so weighed every syllable, so minutely examined every sort of combination, that they are at last entangled and embroiled in the endless number of figures and in such minute partitions that they can no longer fall under any rule or prescription or any certain interpretation.” ― The Complete ESSAYS OF MONTAIGNE, Translated by Donald M. Frame, Stanford University Press, Stanford, California; Copyright 1943 by Donald M. Frame, renewed 1971.  Copyright © 1948, 1957, and 1958 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, Page 816.

About Michael

Retired military officer; retired Air Force civil servant; retired executive, DS Information Systems Corporation; writer; researcher; reader and avid yachtsman.
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