============================== CFJ 1233 ==============================
Rule 1927 should be interpreted as requiring the Executor of the
Bank to announce eir intent to mint Bank Currencies between seven
and fourteen days prior to actually minting them.
Called by Steve: 03 Jul 2000 04:31:32 GMT
Assigned to Elysion: 06 Jul 2000 05:28:25 GMT
Judged FALSE by Elysion: 11 Jul 2000 21:13:58 GMT
For reference, the text of Rule 1927/0:
The Executor of a Bank Currency may Mint new units of that
Currency, subject to the following restrictions:
a) E announces eir intent between seven and fourteen days
prior to the time of minting.
b) Either e is a member of the Cabinet at the time e mints
the currency, or eir action has the support of two Cabinet
The issue here concerns the interpretation of R1927 in light of the
somewhat sloppy formulation ("Executor of a Bank Currency") used in the
Rule. I shall argue that sense can still be made of the Rule.
Kelly and lee have both pointed out, quite correctly, that there is no
such thing as the "Executor of a Bank Currency". The Bank has an
Executor, and the various Bank Currencies have Mintors. On this basis,
they argue that R1927 is completely without effect, since it attempts to
restrict the behaviour of a non-existent entity.
I think such an interpretative principle is far too harsh. A much better
principle here is that we should make the best sense we can out of a
Rule. A Rule should be disregarded as meaningless only as a last resort,
when all other attempts to make sense of it have failed. In this case,
it is clearly possible to make sense out of the Rule.
The Rule would make perfect sense if it began with the phrase "The
Mintor of a Bank Currency..." The concepts of 'Mintor' and 'Executor'
are closely related, most especially in the context of dealing with
Currencies. So we are dealing here with what is clearly a "semantic
typo" - an unintended slip from one word or concept to a closely related
one. In this case, we should have no more difficulty in interpreting the
meaning of the Rule than we should if we encountered a literal typo,
say, a reference to "the Mintor of a Bonk Currency". Would Kelly and lee
argue that reference to a "Bonk Currency" is meaningless because the
Rules do not define any such thing? I doubt it, and I certainly hope
not, for we know that the Ruleset is littered with typos. Past Judges
have been generous in interpreting Rules in which literal typos occur,
and I argue that the Judge in this case should be similarly generous in
If this interpretation is allowed, the truth of the Statement follows. By
R1470, the Bank is the Mintor of every Bank Currency. Hence "the Mintor
of a Bank Currency" refers to the Bank. By R1478, the Executor of the
Bank is empowered to act on behalf of the Bank, and so the provisions of
R1927 apply to em when e attempts to do so. This is what the Statement
Judge Elysion's Arguments:
This CFJ rests on the interpretation of "Executor of a Bank Currency."
As has been pointed out, taken literally there is no such entity.
However, Steve argues that since the intended phrase is "Mintor of a
Bank Currency," and the concepts of Executor and Mintor in the context
of currency are similar, it should be interpreted as "Mintor of a Bank
Currency." Steve presents the example of referring to a "Bonk Currency"
to support this. The "Bonk" example is based on the fact that "Bonk
Currency" makes no sense in the context of the rules or common English
usage. Until recently, "Executor of a Bank Currency" made sense in the
context of the rules. Does "Executor of a Bank Currency" make sense in
these contexts anymore? Certainly, the concepts of an Executor and a
Bank Currency make sense, but do they make sense in combination?
Consider the phrase "Executor of a Zombie." If there are no Zombies,
this phrase refers to a null set, but it is still meaningful to describe
the properties an Executor of a Zombie would have if there were any.
Similarly, it is meaningful to describe the properties of an Executor of
a Bank Currency, even if there are none. Although this interpretation
may not be the one intended by proposal authors, it is this judge's
opinion that the literal interpretation should be followed if
Gratuitous Arguments by Elysion:
[Elysion denied the following motion]
If the Judge finds the CFJ TRUE, I politely request that e Order
the Rulekeepor to Annotate Rule 1927 with the Statement of the