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Part II Related Doctrines, 13 Technical and Legal Language

From: McMeel on The Construction of Contracts (3rd Edition)

Gerard McMeel

From: Oxford Legal Research Library (http://olrl.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved.date: 27 June 2022

Subject(s):
Construction of contract — Formation of contract — Interpretation of contract — Performance of contract

This chapter describes the use of language in interpretation. In traditional accounts, primary effect was given to the ‘plain’ or ‘ordinary’ meaning of words. However, where appropriate—in order to reflect the intentions of the parties—regard would be paid to a specialist or technical meaning of particular words. Legal meanings in particular may be significant in documents intended to have legal effect. Accordingly the chapter shows that context can always override technical meaning, and substitute a conventional or other meaning. However, this chapter mainly focuses on the approaches used for legal language; scientific, technical, and specialist language; and foreign languages.

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