comma before 'unless' (legal document) [modifying what?, conjunction]

  • Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    (1) No, I believe it would be used for any parenthetical expression.

    (2) I like your idea about the Scale; however, you keep referring to your Scale as if everyone in the forum has decided to adopt it. I think you're just going to confuse people unless or until it is formally adopted. No one who hasn't read your C&S thread will know what you are talking about. You might want to use the words instead of the numbers in your own posts (unless, of course, you know that the forero you're writing to is familiar with the Scale--as I am!).
     

    Vikorr

    Senior Member
    Australia, English
    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
    Hi Cheshire,

    Not sure if you received the answer you were looking for yet. The structure of the quote is formed like this :

    (The agreement) is in force for (length of agreement) unless (conditional)

    Mathematically the quote would be expressed something like:

    Agreement length = Agreed Length UNLESS <conditional>

    The comma's exist in the quote simply to separate the phrased idea's in order to make highlight them as individual phrased idea's (and thereby make the sentence easier to read).
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Catholic (Cat-holic, not Catholic)
    Oh, thanks!
    The comma's exist in the quote simply to separate the phrased idea's in order to make highlight them as individual phrased idea's (and thereby make the sentence easier to read).
    Do you usually use that "technique"?

    The comma's exist in the quote simply to separate the phrased idea's in order to make highlight them as individual phrased idea's (and thereby make the sentence easier to read).
    But speaking legally, according to the link, this "rule" was rejected, right?
    Or at least that rule was overridden by one "stronger" syntactical rule, wasn't it?
     

    Vikorr

    Senior Member
    Australia, English
    The comma's exist in the quote simply to separate the phrased idea's in order to make highlight them as individual phrased idea's (and thereby make the sentence easier to read).
    Do you usually use that technique
    All the time.
    But speaking legally, according to the link, this "rule" was rejected, right?
    Or at least that rule was overridden by one "stronger" syntactical rule, wasn't it?
    Ah, I see what your question is now. I should have read the link. The legal ruling was correct. What I said was simply a way to make sentences easier to read (This is almost always correct, but the legal sentence contains a complication)

    Because there were two phrased idea’s preceding the ‘unless and until’, this creates a complication in regards to which phrased idea the 'unless and until' refers to.

    Because comma’s separate phrased idea’s…if they had not used the second comma, then the third phrased idea (starting with ‘unless and until’) would have been attached to the second phrased idea.

    But because of the comma, everything after the ‘unless and until’ refers to both idea’s (which is how I originally read it).

    In all honesty though, the solicitors/lawyers who wrote the contract would have saved themselves a lot of trouble if they had just used a full stop (another rule of mine - never put too many idea's into one sentence). Eg.

    The agreement “shall continue in force for a period of five years from the date it is made". After this it shall continue for successive five year terms, unless and until terminated by one year prior notice in writing by either party.
    I learnt most of these 'rules' myself, while reading law, and while trying to write comprehendable legal papers where many events have occurred simultaneously.
     

    cheshire

    Senior Member
    Catholic (Cat-holic, not Catholic)
    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
    (1) The agreement “shall continue in force for a period of five years from the date it is made
    (2) and thereafter for successive five year terms

    I leaned here that "unless..." clause is only modifying the (2) clause, and not (1).

    Thank you very much, vikorr!
     
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