May


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may

v. a choice to act or not, or a promise of a possibility, as distinguished from "shall" which makes it imperative. 2) in statutes, and sometimes in contracts, the word "may" must be read in context to determine if it means an act is optional or mandatory, for it may be an imperative. The same careful analysis must be made of the word "shall." Non-lawyers tend to see the word "may" and think they have a choice or are excused from complying with some statutory provision or regulation. (See: shall)

MAY. To be permitted; to be at liberty; to have the power.
     2. Whenever a statute directs the doing of a thing for the sake of justice or the public good, the word may is the same as shall. For example, the 23 H. VI. says, the sheriff may take bail, that is construed he shall, for he is compellable to do so. Carth. 293 Salk. 609; Skin. 370.
     3. The words shall and may in general acts of the legislature or in private constitutions, are to be construed imperatively; 3. Atk. 166; but the construction of those words in a deed depends on circumstances. 3 Atk. 282. See 1 Vern. 152, case. 142 9 Porter, R. 390.

References in periodicals archive ?
Royal Ballet of Flanders, May 16, Chasse Theater, 31 76 530 3132
When symptoms are severe, the doctor may prescribe erythromycin to speed digestion, metoclopramide to speed digestion and help relieve nausea, or other drugs to help regulate digestion or reduce stomach acid secretion.
They also seek to have the steering committee be representative of what may possibly be a diverse universe of creditor interests.
May 17-19, May 24-25, May 27, June 1-3, June 7-9, June 14-15
One potential result of this confusion is that the school may make a "stipend" payment that is captured in neither payroll reporting nor financial aid and Form 1098-T reporting.
Coaches who may be at odds with each other over any number of issues.
Although concerns about safety are real and may be well-founded, they also can lead parents to overprotect their children to an extent that is not helpful to the students' development.
Beliefs about the importance of image, personal appearance, and physical attractiveness in the workplace may reflect occupational and organizational stereotypes.
OHIO May 22--Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio; Family Night.
May 4-5: Western Canadian Conference on Sexual Health; Alberta Society for the Promotion of Sexual Health and Faculty of Nursing; Community Health Nursing Unit; www.
Colne Valley Leisure Centre, May 2, May 30, May 31 - closed.
Their needs for service and information may differ dramatically.