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 ?
British May Day traditions include dancing around a Maypole, crowning a May Queen and Morris dancing.
45am, the Maypole MAYPOLE DANCING 11am and 1pm MCELHINNEY SCHOOL OF DANCE, HOLYWOOD RHYTHMS IRISH DANCING PERFORMANCE 12noon, the Maypole JUMP, JIGGLE AND JIVE CHILDREN'S INTERACTIVE DANCING 12noon-4pm, High Street FANCY DRESS COMPETITION AND PRESENTATION OF PRIZES 12.
Maypole dancing originates from Germany, England, and Sweden.
Maypole dancing was seen as "a heathenish vanity generally abused to superstition and wickedness", and laws were passed that saw the end of village maypoles throughout the country.
He runs garages in Alcester Road, Redditch, Alcester Road South, Maypole, and Abelwell Road in Walsall.
Did you know that May Day celebrations, including maypole dancing, were banned for a short time in England during the 17th century but have fortunately been enjoyed since, as our pictures show.
Have a go at making a 'Jack in the Green' mask in the School or try some Maypole dancing the pit pony field.
CHILDREN at Exhall Cedars helped to keep alive the Great British tradition of maypole dancing.
One Cardiffian who has good reason to remember the Maypole which stood on the corner of Bridge Street is Jeff Davies as his father Stan (pictured with assistants) was the manager there for many years.
MAYPOLE and Morris Dancing makes its mark as part of a May Day fun event in south Sefton.
The festivities started at noon with the raising of the maypole, a tall wooden cross with two rings on each side of the horizontal beam.
He alienated the neighboring Puritans because he competed successfully with them in trade with the Indians, sold guns to the Indians, was an Anglican, and set up a maypole for his people--and the Indians--to dance around.