Away with Wayward Words!

In a dispute with the EU, AstraZeneca’s CEO insists their contract requires only “best reasonable efforts” to meet delivery schedules.

Lawyers disagreed over the language of the E.U. contract, which was only partly made public.
(Steven Erlanger and Matina Stevis-Gridneff, “E.U. Makes a Sudden and Embarrassing U-Turn on Vaccines,” NYTimes, 1-30-21)

Is the dispute over language about style or about grammar? Surely what the words actually say can’t be in contention?

Contracts, after all, are drafted with consummate clarity by highly literate lawyers. Then they are read and vetted exhaustively by all parties prior to the signing.

Of course my comments are crapulent with irony and contrariness to fact. Any agreement that includes phrases such as “best reasonable efforts” is designed (by lawyers) not to be load-bearing or fit for purpose.

For contrast, a doctor commenting on the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine says its promised reduction in severe disease is a powerful selling point.

“That’s what you want… You want to stay out of the hospital, and stay out of the morgue.”
(Denise Grady, “Which Covid Vaccine Should You Get? Experts Cite the Effect Against Severe Disease,” NYTimes, 1-29-21)

No mention of “best reasonable efforts.” Just consummate clarity: Stay out of the morgue.

(c) 2021 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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