Thoughts on ways to improve the management of professional services firms

Friday, July 10, 2009

Problems with English in drafting

Recently I was preparing a funding agreement. Essentially a scissors and paste of previous documents to provide a base that could then be supplied to the lawyers for review.

In doing so, I found a major problem with language and in particular the difference between English usage in the US and the rest of the English speaking world. I found that I had to go through on a line by line basis to ensure consistency.

I mention this because in a A Licence to Spell the LexPublica blog had an interesting post on the same topic from a Canadian perspective.    


LexPublica said...

Thanks for the mention.

If you have any other examples where you've come different usages and spellings across dialects of English, and those have caused you problems, please send them on to us.

We're developing an approach to English spelling with an international focus (not just Canadian), and using 'commonality' as the touchstone: we'll use the spelling shared across the greatest number of English dialects.

So long as the meaning is consistent with the shared spelling, then the common spelling has the best chance of having the right meaning to the most people.

Jim Belshaw said...


I will keep an eye out. I will also run your comment as a full post to see if I can get other responses.