Official English

Baker, John JBaker at STRADLEY.COM
Wed Jun 6 20:14:37 UTC 2001

        For a good illustration of Gail's point, here's section 3(c)(1)(A)
of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended by the Small Business
Investment Incentive Act of 1980.  (The 1940 Act has since been further
amended.)  This particular provision is striking because its meaning is
straightforward and unambiguous (at least compared to, say, the Second
Amendment) and it does not rely upon complicated cross-references, yet it
requires a close reading that frankly may be beyond the capabilities of some
natural-born U.S. citizens.  In fact, I'll give $10 to the charity of choice
of the first listmember who deciphers it.  "Investment companies" are mutual
funds and certain related entities, and if you are relying upon this
exception it will be very, very important to you that your company is not an
investment company.

        >>(c)   Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, none of the
following persons is an investment company within the meaning of this
                (1)     Any issuer whose outstanding securities (other than
short-term paper) are beneficially owned by not more than one hundred
persons and which is not making and does not presently propose to make a
public offering of its securities.  For purposes of this paragraph:
                        (A)     Beneficial ownership by a company shall be
deemed to be beneficial ownership by one person, except that, if the company
owns 10 per centum or more of the outstanding voting securities of the
issuer, the beneficial ownership shall be deemed to be that of the holders
of such company's securities (other than short-term paper) unless, as of the
date of the most recent acquisition by such company of securities of that
issuer, the value of all securities owned by such company of all issuers
which are or would, but for the exception set forth in this subparagraph, be
excluded from the definition of investment company solely by this paragraph,
does not exceed 10 per centum of the value of the company's total assets.<<

        Of course, it's only to be expected that anyone who wants to be a
citizen should be able to read and understand an easy passage like that one.

John Baker

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gail Stygall [SMTP:stygall at U.WASHINGTON.EDU]
> Sent: Monday, June 04, 2001 6:08 PM
> Subject:      Re: Official English
> As someone whose research is in legal language and discourse, I find the
> proposal that applicants for naturalization be able to read and understand
> the laws of the U.S. astonishing.  The level of knowledge of case law and
> legal procedure necessary to comprehend the US code and administrative law
> is beyond most college graduates and professionals.  So the proposed bill
> actually demands that we have a higher standard of reading comprehension
> for qualified immigrants (who have been paying taxes and contributing to
> their communities for at least five years as resident aliens) than we do
> for citizens.
> Gail Stygall
> __________________________________________________________________________
> ____
> Gail Stygall <stygall at>              (206) 543-2190
> Director, Expository Writing Program
> Associate Professor, English Language and Literature
> English, Box 354330, University of Washington, Seattle WA 98195-4330
> __________________________________________________________________________
> ____

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