Thursday, June 14, 2007

reasonable interpretation

I've been noticing signs lately and interpreting them as personal scripture, which made me smile at the case of a man in Washington DC reading too much into a pair of signs he read at a dry cleaners. You may have heard this story. It's been reported everywhere as an extreme example of ludicrous legislation.

Roy L. Pearson Jr., leaves a pair of expnsive suit pants to be dry cleaned. The dry cleaners loses the pants and although they eventually turn up again, Mr. Pearson claims that the found pants are not actually his. He sues the dry cleaners for an incredible $54 million, a figure calculated by Mr. Pearson claiming that two signs in the shop "Same Day Service" and "Satisfaction Guaranteed" made false promises which constituted fraud and thus the business owners were subject to $18,000 penalties every day for the last 4 years since the initial incident.

How literally should we interpret the scripture/signs around us? Should we be literalists or liberals? Here's how New York Times writer Suevon Lee reported the essential question asked by Attorney for the Defense, Christopher Manning:

"'Without regard to the law, as a human being, as a person, don't you think it makes sense to interpret merchant signage in a reasonable way?' Mr. Manning said.

Mr. Pearson, who is representing himself, eventually responded, 'No.'"

No comments: