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Say That Again?

Say That Again?

May 21, 2024
I was reviewing a draft gift acceptance type policy for a client the other day.

In one provision, the policy said: “the donor must be clearly a natural person ...”

As opposed to ambiguously a natural person?

As opposed to an unnatural person?

April 22, 2024
I got an email from a former law partner through LinkedIn the other day.  The headline cheerily said: “I want to connect.”

I didn’t know that LinkedIn had that kind of power.  My former partner died six years ago.

March 19, 2024
We were walking in Center City Philadelphia on the Saturday night before St. Patrick’s Day.  We thought it was pretty nice that the police had closed off a full block of one of the major streets for a neighborhood St. Patrick’s Day party.  We really felt quite safe, until we saw that one of the squad cars parked on the sidewalk was from the city’s Counter Terrorism Unit.

October 3, 2023
We received an “Exclusive” invitation to contribute to a charity recently.  It came in an envelope utilizing a nonprofit bulk rate mail stamp.

They apparently have a pretty expansive definition of “exclusive.”

June 6, 2023
The online newsletter for a suburban community proclaimed: “Overcrowing in [Local] Schools Under Review.”

To which a constituent responded: “Those high-end parents, always over crowing about their kids!”

A couple of hours later, the newsletter was resent.  The headline now read: “Overcrowding in [Local] Schools Under Review.”

One can’t help feeling the headlines could be appropriate for two separate stories.

February 21, 2023
We were invited recently to a series of webinars to learn about “a widely used statistical method for synthesizing the findings of many independent studies toward calculating the combined estimated effect of important factors upon key study outcomes.” 

Want to try that one again, in meaningful English?

February 7, 2023
“In 2014, the City of Costa Mesa [CA] began amending its zoning code to reduce the number and concentration of sober living homes in its residential neighborhoods.  Two of its new ordinances … made it unlawful to operate sober living homes without a permit.”  (Social Recovery, LLC v. City of Costa Mesa, 9th Cir. Ct. of Apps., No. 20-55820, 1/3/23.)

The neighbors must be pleased to know that no permit is required for homes of inebriate living.

January 30, 2023
A recent article in the New York Times on a growing need to deal with childhood obesity said that obesity is defined as having a body-mass index reading at or above the 95th percentile compared to others of the same sex and age.  The next paragraph said that many experts “took comfort” in the fact that just 5% of children were obese and it did not seem like a pressing problem.

It would be even less pressing if they defined obesity at the 97th percentile.

December 23, 2022
A reader gave us a copy of the pharmacy’s instructions for a new prescription that had just been filled.  It warned of “serious side effects” that could lead to “disability or death.”  After warning of multiple adverse conditions that could occur “within hours to weeks,” it said: “Call your doctor right away if you are not able to move.” 

It didn’t indicate how the reader might be able to make the call without being able to move.

July 21, 2022
Email notice to residents of high-rise apartment:

“[Our electric utility] had a momentary drop in service in our area today.  Multiple buildings in our neighborhood were affected.

“[Our elevator company] is onsite to get car #2 & #3 running as soon as possible, now that service is returned.

“We are sorry [for any] incontinence this may have caused.”

March 7, 2022
The hotel was apparently attempting to tout the quality of its service.  A sign in the elevator proclaimed:

“Whatever floor you’re on, you’ll find our service is on another level.”

That may inadvertently explain why it took so long to get their service on our level.

January 18, 2022
We got the confirmation for a car rental the other day.  We were warned that if we returned it late, there could be an additional charge. 

The extra charge for an hour was $61.94.  The extra charge for a full day was $61.42.

We never thought they would pay us to keep the car for an extra 23 hours.

January 11, 2022
I got a political fundraising email the other day with a subject line of “speechless.”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that were true?

November 2021
Headline from a local legal newspaper:

[Company]’s First Ever Diversity Officer

Sues Company for Alleged Discrimination

How could that possibly be?

October 2021
Vanity license plates on cars often tell a lot about the drivers.  We noticed one the other day that seemed particularly revealing.

“WASNT ME” proclaimed the plate.

I could only paraphrase the old line from Shakespeare: “the driver doth protest too much.”

September 2021
I went to unsubscribe from some unwanted email the other day.  When I tried to do it, the form asked me to prove that I wasn’t a robot.

I didn’t have a problem clicking the box.  I just couldn’t understand why they would want to  keep emailing to a robot.

June 2021
Lawyers tend to have a wonderful sense of optimism.

We got an email recently from a particularly optimistic firm. Its subject line was:

Getting Ready to Travel Again? Review Your Will First!

Feburary 2021
We picked up a take-out dinner during the last week of February and noticed the “Enjoy By” date on the bottom.  It said we should enjoy it by “2/29.”

We figured it must have some substantial preservatives in it, since the next February 29 was more than three years away.

January 2021
Complaints submitted to federal courts are usually verified by a statement of relevant facts filed “under penalty of perjury.”

But, according to an article in the ABA Journal, attorney L. Lin Wood Jr. of Atlanta, who has been seeking to overturn the Presidential election results in Georgia, utilized a different standard in a challenge to state election procedures he recently filed on his own behalf in federal court.  Wood verified his complaint “under plenty of perjury.”

October 2020
The bylaws of a nonprofit corporation provide in traditional fashion that “the acts of a majority of the Directors present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the acts of the Board.”  But they also provide that this rule will prevail only “except as otherwise specified in the Corporation’s Articles of Incorporation (the “Articles”) or these By-Laws or as provided by statue.”

Once again showing the limitations of spell check.

January 2020
The lead paragraph in a story in a local legal newspaper included this sentence:

“[A woman lawyer] alleges that she was repeatedly harassed and suffered sexual assault by a senior labor and employment lawyer at the firm who specializes in sexual harassment issues.”

At least he is likely to understand the litigation against him.

October 2019
I got a memo from a colleague in the office the other day commenting on an agreement we were reviewing.  Item 10 stated as follows:

“I also found some tpos.”

He was so emphatic he underlined it in red.

July 2019
We recently received the inaugural edition of a new e-publication on philanthropy from an investment management firm promoting its interest in helping charities sustain their financial viability.  Its lead story was about helping charities tap into the “great wealth transfer” expected in the next decade.  The article emphasized how “women are at the helm” of the process and “are revolutionizing giving.”

The story came immediately after the introduction of its five-person endowment and foundation services team: all white males.


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