(redirected from wasted words)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia.

WORD, construction. One or more syllables which when united convey an idea a single part of speech.
     2. Words are to be understood in a proper or figurative sense, and they are used both ways in law. They are also used in a technical sense. It is a general rule that contracts and wills shall be construed as the parties understood them; every person, however, is presumed to understand the force of the words be uses, and therefore technical words must be taken according to their legal import, even in wills, unless the testator manifests a clear intention to the contrary. 1 Bro. C. C. 33; 3 Bro. C. C. 234; 5 Ves. 401 8 Ves. 306.
     3. Every one is required to use words in the sense they are generally understood, for, as speech has been given to man to be a sign of his thoughts, for the purpose of communicating them to others, he is bound in treating with them, to use such words or signs in the sense sanctioned by usage, that is, in the sense in which they themselves understand them, or else he deceives them. Heinnec. Praelect. in Puffendorff, lib. 1, cap. 17, Sec. 2 Heinnec. de Jure Nat. lib. 1, Sec. 197; Wolff, lust. Jur. Nat. Sec. 7981.
     4. Formerly, indeed, in cases of slander, the defamatory words received the mildest interpretation of which they were susceptible, and some ludicrous decisions were the consequence. It was gravely decided, that to say of a merchant, "he is a base broken rascal, has broken twice, and I will make him break a third time," that no action could be maintained, because it might be intended that he had a hernia: ne poet dar porter action, car poet estre intend de burstness de belly. Latch, 104. But now they are understood in their usual signification. Comb. 37; Ham. N. P. 282. Vide Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.; Construction; Interpretation.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
He is blamed for not saying a lot at the 1940 Cabinet meeting which turned down the idea of trying to make peace, but Arthur Greenwood had already expressed Labour's opposition and Attlee never wasted words. He is blamed for giving India its independence too quickly; I put this criticism to Denis Healey once, and he replied: 'Have you ever tried crossing a precipice in two bounds?'
Traina as a "moral compass" and "quiet thunder," an individual who never wasted words or raised his voice.
Don't be fooled into looking at the League One table right now and thinking Swansea's talk of promotion was wasted words.
The warning contained in the presidential statement should not be allowed to end up as so many wasted words.
"Once a judge commented to a jury: `In Mrs Baird's closing address there were no wasted words ( she used every one I know at least twice.
And while we're on the subject of wasted words, who thinks up the titles of autobiographies?
A recent study found that more than 50% of data in technical manuals is literally "wasted words." New York-based technology firm Data Conversion Laboratory Inc.