Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: In a Few Short Months

One legal clause you have to be wary of is "in a few short months." This sounds like it takes very little time, or at least, a reasonable amount of time. It does not. Months come in three varieties: 31-day months, 30-day months, and the once-yearly 28-day month of February. 31-day months like July and December are clearly the long months, leaving 30-day ones like June and September as shorter, but not shortest. 30-day months are not short in comparison to February. Thus when someone promises something in "a few short months," they are referring to multiple Februaries. Anything that takes that long is actually going to take years, and the speaker is disregarding all the long-ish and outright long months that will pass alongside the few short ones. And because "a few" is vague, the contracted party can take two, three, or even five Februaries to pay you back. You're left waiting through January after January just to see if this is the short month he had in mind, all because you didn't make him be more precise in his wording.


  1. Ha, excellent. Now I understand... *nodding*

    Here's to precision in contractual wording of all kinds. :)

  2. Great advice! This is a lesson I wish I would not have learned the hard way... by never getting paid. :\

  3. They're all too short when the mortgage payment is due.

  4. That made sense to me.

    Damn lawyers...

  5. I work in government. This so made sense to me, and didn't piss me off at all. It's too normal.


  6. Wow ... I'm confused and enlightened all at the same time... But I think I get it, John...


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