Terminate vs annul

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Terminate vs annul

Post by STEVENSAKURA » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:18 am

- If you violate any conditions specified therein, the contract will automatically terminate.

- Why don't we use "annul" or "abolish" instead of "terminate" in this situation?

Thanks a lot!

StevenSakura
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Re: Terminate vs annul

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:23 am

Because 'terminate' is an intransitive verb. You could use 'annul', but it is a transitive verb which in this construction would have to be used in the passive voice:

If you violate any conditions specified therein, the contract will automatically be annulled.

To use 'annul' as an active verb would require something along the lines of this wording:

If you violate any conditions specified therein, we will automatically annul the contract.

Here you can see that 'we' is the agent of the prospective annulment.

'Abolish' is not normally used in the context of terminating a contract; you can abolish a law, but not a contract (though you could pass a law that abolishes certain types of contract).
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Re: Terminate vs annul

Post by tony h » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:04 am

I think there is another point here.

Annul (to me) has the sense of "undo" ie make as if it had never happened. So you annul a marriage ie declare the marriage as never having happened. Whereas as a divorce is a termination of marriage.

So here the contract "terminates" (comes to an end) at the time of the violation, but did exist up to that point : so any money due etc up to that point would still be due.

Annul would imply the contract was never in place.
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Signature: tony

I'm puzzled therefore I think.

Re: Terminate vs annul

Post by Shelley » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:28 pm

I agree with you, tony h. Annulled means it never happened, never existed.
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Re: Terminate vs annul

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:43 pm

Shelley wrote:I agree with you, tony h. Annulled means it never happened, never existed.
Well, not quite. It happened, but an issue arose over the validity of the arrangement that led to the latter being reversed.

However, while the intent may be to restore the situation to a state of affairs in which the arrangement never took place, this can only be an aspiration, not a true destination. It has still had various effects and impacts on those involved.
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Re: Terminate vs annul

Post by Shelley » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:22 pm

To be honest, I've only heard and/or used the word in reference to marriages in the Catholic Church where divorce is not allowed.

Although I agree with you, Erik, that reality dictates that a union known as marriage absolutely occurred with vows until death and possible children resulting, my understanding is that the purpose of annulment (by the Church) is to pretend as if it never happened, releasing the parties from whatever obligations they have under the sacrament of marriage, and if children resulted, rendering them, well, I guess -- bastards.

Admittedly, I've never made a study of it, but I thought the whole concept came about to get around the failure of royalty in producing an heir with the officially sanctified spouse. If divorce was not allowed, and it was too inconvenient to kill said spouse (angry relatives waging war, for example), then annulment was a way for God, in the body of the Church, to step in and clear the path. Isn't that what went on with Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon? And in that case, the Church refused to annul their union much to Henry's pissed-off-ness, and the rest is history.

So, in another kind of contract, I would use "terminate" or something else, because it more implies the actual existence, at one time, of said contract. When I look up "annul" in my computer's Encarta dictionary:
1. make something invalid (to declare a legal document or agreement invalid) [Point to Erik!]
2. declare marriage invalid (to declare that a marriage was never a true marriage in the eyes of a church, e.g. because one of the parties was not completely committed to it)
3. destroy something (to wipe out or destroy the effect or existence of something)

Thesaurus includes: cancel, call off, withdraw, end, terminate, dissolve, rescind, invalidate, put an end to
In spite of knowing the truth, now, I will likely still reserve annul for use in the Church/marriage context.

Thanks for making me look it up, Erik!

Cheers all. Haven't spent such a big chunk of my boss's time here in a long while.
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Re: Terminate vs annul

Post by christinecornwall » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:52 am

To be honest, I've only heard and/or used the word in reference to marriages in the Catholic Church where divorce is not allowed.

Although I agree with you, Erik, that reality dictates that a union known as marriage absolutely occurred with vows until death and possible children resulting, my understanding is that the purpose of annulment (by the Church) is to pretend as if it never happened, releasing the parties from whatever obligations they have under the sacrament of marriage, and if children resulted, rendering them, well, I guess -- bastards.
I was interested in this, and found more about the fate of children in an annulled marriage:

http://www.idotaketwo.com/christian_remarriage.html
Q. What is the difference between a civil divorce or civil annulment and a Catholic Church annulment?

A. Anyone who marries in the United States must obtain a civil license to legally contract the marriage and cohabitate with all the privileges the law provides. In most cases, the civil divorce states that the above did take place, but the contract is severed and each party is free under the law to remarry. The legitimacy of children is not affected.

The Church views marriage as a covenant for life that cannot be severed. However, some marriages are entered into without the necessary maturity or full knowledge and ability to keep such a permanent commitment, or without full free will because of external pressures. Therefore, a person has the right to ask the Church to examine a previous marriage to see if it was less than what the church views as a valid marriage, a freely chosen commitment between two mature, knowledgeable and capable adults to enter a covenant of love, for life, with priority to spouse and children.

A Catholic annulment is a declaration from a diocesan Tribunal that the marriage bond was less than such a covenant for life because it was lacking something necessary from the very beginning. One or both parties may have entered the marriage with good will, but lacked the openness, honesty, maturity, fully free choice, right motivation, emotional stability, or capacity to establish a community of life and love with another person. If an annulment is granted, then both parties are free to remarry in the Church, however, for pastoral reasons, counseling may be required prior to marriage in order to prevent the parties involved from repeating mistakes. The legitimacy of the children is NOT affected in any way. There was an assumption of marriage at the time; therefore the standing of children is never affected by an annulment.
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Re: Terminate vs annul

Post by Shelley » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:12 pm

christinecornwall wrote:. . . One or both parties may have entered the marriage with good will, but lacked the openness, honesty, maturity, fully free choice, right motivation, emotional stability, or capacity to establish a community of life and love with another person. . .
That about describes just about every marriage I've ever been acquainted with!

Christine, thanks for finding out about the status of children in an annulment. Wrong again, but now I know.

Signed,
Shelley, learning a new thing or three every day
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Re: Terminate vs annul

Post by HHHPUZZLES » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:49 pm

I read the post about children of parents who got an annulment. I knew that their legitimacy was in no way compromised but I checked Catholic websites to learn how to phrase it the best way possible. By the time I got back to Wordwizard, Christine had already posted a marvelous answer. I, as a Catholic convert, want to applaud Christine for going to the trouble of finding out the truth and answering the question so beautifully. Yeah, Christine!
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Re: Terminate vs annul

Post by christinecornwall » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:40 am

Thanks for the props Triple H, but really, it's the good people at ask.com who deserve it LOL.
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