Re: Your consideration of jdporter’s reply as “abusive”: I don’t think it was intended as such. It’s a paraphrase of an (in)famous quotation from Mark Jason Dominus.
And the point (as I understand it) is valid, because legalese, like Perl or any other language, has its own technical vocabulary and conventions, and so is often opaque to those of us not fluent in its use.
When my mother sold her house, we took the contract to a solicitor who specialises in this area of the law. He read through the contract and removed a couple of clauses which, he said, were not in our interest. The point being that we found out what those clauses actually meant only when he explained them. On our own, we would have had to leave them in precisely because we had no idea of what they actually entailed.
So the point is this: when you “edited liberally” the contract to which you refer, you were in danger of (a) using terminology which didn’t mean what you thought it did, and (b) missing gotchas in the contract which you didn’t recognise because they were buried under a weight of legalese. (This is assuming you are not yourself a trained lawyer, of course.)
Which is, I think, all that jdporter intended to convey.
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