I have written before about the importance of wording choices, when I examined the legislation that California had brought in to help improve situations with how the LBGT community are treated in convalescent care. In that post, I looked at how just a simple phrasing could be interpreted one way, which totally negates the spirit of the legislation.
The spirit of the law and the actual law are two entirely different things. This is why it is vital that legislation and policies need to be carefully scrutinized by those well versed in legalese. In a way, it’s a lawyer’s job to find those loopholes in the way things are worded.
However, when you are not talking about legislation, many are willing to forego the importance of wording choices, and just paraphrase things. At times, this is perfectly okay. There are other times this is not.
Emails sent as a public statement in response to a court case verdict is not the time to be paraphrasing and forgetting about the importance of wording choices. As much as you might hate the idea, people do take things literally. Wording matters.
Let me set the stage.