Wednesday, 25 February 2015

From the "I did not know that" dept...

Transcribing old wills can be a tricky thing. Not only do you have to decipher the handwriting and deal with a distinct lack of punctuation (and capital letters) but you also have to deal with unfamiliar words and terms. Earlier I posted a transcription of my ggg-grandmother's will, but upon re-reading I discovered a small transcription error.

Actually, the transcription error was revealed to me by an unrelated search online. I was randomly searching a new site I had discovered when I came across a familiar term used in an unfamiliar context. A lease document was labelled a "demise", which to me seemed a mistake. I Googled the word just to make sure there wasn't another meaning and suddenly all became clear. Demise in its original meaning was a legal term for a transfer of an estate or a lease. Demise as a synonym for death is actually a euphemism. Who knew?

In my defense, the difference between "devise" and "demise" in the (often flowery) hand-written script used in thee old documents is quite small, so I claim it was an easy mistake to make.

No comments:

Post a Comment