Those are the two loves of Natalie, who tries to combine them in her blog edits. From October, a sterling example of the kind of thing you have to be a lawyer to enjoy:

A sentence like this is comforting because I feel that its absurd complexity relieves me of any obligation to understand it.

And during the period of twenty-one years from my death if the said Lilian Aspinall shall live so long to accumulate the surplus if any of such income at compound interest by investing the same and the resulting income thereof in any of the investments aforesaid by way of addition to the capital of such fund as aforesaid and so as to be subject to the same trusts as are hereby declared concerning the same and during the remainder of the life of the said Lilian Aspinall in case she shall survive the said period of twenty-one years to pay or apply such surplus income (if any) to the person or persons or for the purposes to whom and for which the same would for the time being be payable or applicable if the said Lilian Aspinall were then dead.
In Re Smith, England, 1928

And from last Friday, a hymn to the English language:

The English language is mine, and not mine. The English language is the shifting ground, the complex mess and soup and great wave over and around. The English language exists solely for my pleasure and my pleasure rests in its complexity. My pleasure grounds the English idioms. My pleasure starts with sound. My pleasure is all of a tongue. And words curling up my throat a growling purring hum. The English words work up through my body. And I take pleasure in resolve as well. A sharp snap in the sentence. A tight turn. Small details, small particular lettered sound. Pattern. Rhyme and rhythm and repeated phrases. Parcels.[…]


  1. I think that there is an “if” where and “of” should be.

  2. And in my post, an “and” where an “an” should be.

  3. But there is no A. Elk anywhere.

  4. I think that there is an “if” where and “of” should be.

    Very possibly, but the wording is taken straight from the Law Journal Reports 1928 (Volume 97, Part 1, p. 441), so if there’s an error, it was in the original document.

  5. January First-of-May says

    There are four instances of “if” in the text, and from casual glance it doesn’t look like any of them should be “of”, but I’ll have to untangle the grammar to be sure.

    EDIT: untangled enough of the grammar to be fairly confident that all four should in fact be “if”.

    EDIT 2: Specifically, the first instance is a subordinate clause: “if … so long”. The second instance is a parenthetical clause: “surplus (if any)”, paralleled as such by the third, which does include the parentheses. The fourth, near the end, I was unable to place grammatically in the context, but “if… were then dead” would not make any sense with “of”.

    EDIT 3: What it seems to be saying is “for the first 21 years, assuming L.A. survives that long, collect surplus income by method X, then after that, if L.A. is still alive, distribute it by method Y, consistent with how it would have been distributed if L.A. had died”. I’m not a lawyer and cannot comment on the details of methods X and Y, or on what is supposed to happen if L.A. does not survive for 21 years.

  6. I’m deeply impressed. Perhaps you should have been a lawyer!

  7. January First-of-May says

    Perhaps you should have been a lawyer!

    Doubt it. There’s no way I could deal with that kind of responsibility, and even if I somehow managed that, I’m way too honest to do it properly.

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