A contract and a murder, and this is not even fiction

My younger daughter’s class is learning the names of the provinces and their capitals. The class has to take their Canadian geography test until they get it all right. My daughter practiced at home over and over – and she really knows her stuff.

But she will have to take the test a third time, just like the rest of her class. Yes, she knows it all, but she keeps making little errors. Like writing “WinniPeg”. Like placing Iqaluit on the mainland by accident. Little stuff like that.

Little stuff that proofreading would fix.

Why is this so important?

Well, I was reviewing a contract recently, full of the usual legalese, when I came across something most non-usual:

“Where it shall appear to the partners that this Agreement, or any terms and conditions contained in this agreement, are in any way ineffective or deficient, or not expressed as originally intended, and any alteration or addition shall be deemed necessary, the partners will enter into, execute, and perform all murder be an instrument as their counsel shall advise. Any addition, alteration, or modification shall be in writing, and no oral agreement shall be effective.”

Did you miss it?  OK, here is the abbreviated version:

Yadda yadda yadda yad yadda yadda yad. Yadda yadda yadda yadda yad yadda yad yadda.  Yadda yadda yadda the partners will enter into, execute, and perform all murder yadda yad yadda. Yadda yadda yadda yadda yad yadda.

Murder contract?

OK, clearly something went wrong in that paragraph. In fact, my best guess is that two things went wrong. First, it looks like a bad cut and paste left out a few words, because the end of that sentence doesn’t quite fit onto the rest of the sentence. Like trying to sort through the plane crash debris and placing Julia Roberts head on Hulk Hogan’s body (Yes, as a matter of fact I did have a troublesome sleep last night – why do you ask?).  Second, at the junction between the two parts of the sentence, we discover a murder – probably a spell-check anomaly as a result of the bad cut-and-paste, but still leaving us with some important questions unanswered:

  • Exactly who are these partners supposed to murder?
  • Does it matter what weapon is used?
  • Will the murderer be indemnified by anybody (contracts are always full of people indemnifying each other for their sins, right?)

READ ALSO: How a typo turned a celebrity chef into a cannibal

I love a good murder mystery as much as the next guy. And contracts are common in murder mysteries. But a murder mystery is pretty rare in a contract.

So, for the benefit of my dear daughter, you see that proofreading can save a person from more than just being caught in an endless loop  geography test. It could even save you from murder.

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A contract and a murder, and this is not even fiction, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

9 thoughts on “A contract and a murder, and this is not even fiction

  1. Ha Ha Ha! Wonderful, David. And I’m certain in the copywriting game proofreading is imperative too. I’m wondering if you could share with us some of the tricks of the trade as far as guarding against errors in content. It would be great if you could leave any thoughts in the comment section of BizSugar for our whole community’s benefit.

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  2. LOL Very funny! Proofreading surely is essential. It’ll help you examine if what we wrote conveys a clear message. With a lot of things to consider and check, grammar, spelling, and thought; it sure does require a longer time. Yet, it’s better to take time on that, than imparting a confusing message to the readers. We don’t want them to think we are making a plot on murdering someone, right? LOL

    Great post!

    I found and “kingged” the post on Kingged.com.

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  3. Hilarious – a great example of the perils of failing to proofread properly! Mind you, a bloomer like that’s a lovely way to spice up a boring old contract :)

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    1. Hi Susan. You are so right. Contracts are boring, so a little murder mystery could spice them up. I suppose it is also a great way to find out how closely someone is reading the contract.

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  4. LMAO that is just hilarious actually!

    Did you call it to the attention of the person that gave you the murder contract?

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  5. This was hilarious David ;)

    Contracts are so boring that sometimes I just feel like signing and passing it to the client but I don’t and you just reminded me why….Your quoted example seems to be a curious case of using a writing software.

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