Saturday, November 06, 2010

Verbal

The word verbal is often imprecise in meaning. Most people use it to mean ‘spoken’ or ‘oral’, so a verbal agreement is one that is spoken and not written down.

Pedants, however, insist that technically it means ‘involving words’ — that is, it may be spoken or written. This broader meaning of verbal may be usefully contrasted with non-verbal, for example a nod to indicate ‘yes’.

4 comments:

Vincent Tan said...

I think this happens when the writer is someone without the domain knowledge of the things he/she writes, or he/she is targeting at an audience who is not in the domain as well. People who does not know contractual laws will not be able to spot the mistake though.

The Grammar Terrorist said...

Yes indeed -- thanks for the feedback.

Mirandouli said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ludwig Tan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.