A(nother) million-dollar comma case

A few days ago a decision was handed down in a case which was all about the Oxford comma. The New York Times reports on the class action between three truck drivers and Oakhurst Dairy in an article entitled “Lack of Oxford Comma Could Cost Maine Company Millions in Overtime Dispute“.

Very little imagination is needed to extend this to how crucial such things might be in translation.

You can read The New York Times article here.

A second and well-known example from a few years ago is AMJ Campbell Inc v Kord Products Inc., 2003 CanLII 5840 (ON SC), a case involving the valuation of assets upon the sale of a company (see here).

Two more examples are provided by Borden Ladner Gervais LLP on the great legal information source Lexology. One again involves the comma, and shipping costs – Osmium Shipping Corp v Cargill International SA, [2012] EWHC 571 (Comm); while the second case, relating to an employment contract, turns on a decimal point – Herbert v JP Morgan Chase & Co (EWHC (QB), March 2012; No HQ11X02595, no record in BAILII).

Do send in any more cases you know of, especially in other languages.

As for more information about the Oxford comma, who better than Oxford Dictionaries to explain… 🙂


Grateful hat tip to Madalena Ferreira Åhman for bringing the Oakhurst Dairy case to my attention.

2 thoughts on “A(nother) million-dollar comma case

  1. Pingback: What exactly is legal translation? | From Words to Deeds: translation & the law

  2. Pingback: Monday smile – A virtually (but not totally) perfect world | From Words to Deeds: translation & the law

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