Behold: the mighty comma

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(via MeFi) Next time you hear someone complain about the pointlessness of commas, drop this little piece of knowledge on them: because of a single misplaced comma, a Canadian company will end up paying $2.13 million. The sentence in question?

Page 7 of the contract states: The agreement “shall continue in force for a period of five years from the date it is made, and thereafter for successive five year terms, unless and until terminated by one year prior notice in writing by either party.”

The second one is the million dollar comma, allowing that final clause to modify the original agreement when it was intended, by one of the parties, to modify only the "thereafter" portion of the contract. Not a bad little cautionary tale for those of who ignore and/or overuse the comma...

That's all.

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This page contains a single entry by cgbrooke published on August 7, 2006 4:48 PM.

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