Similarly, if there is uncertainty only because some minor term was omitted the courts will, ifpossible, imply into the agreement what they feel the parties must have intended so that thecontract, thus modified, will be workable. The same approach applies if meaninglessclauses were included in the contract (giving rise to some question as to what was actuallyintended). In such cases the courts canseverthe meaningless clauses (delete them fromthe contract), thereby giving the contract a clear meaning and then enforcing it in itssevered form.The means of acceptanceLike offers, acceptances must generally be communicatedto be effective and thecommunication may have to be in the specific form stipulated by the offeror. Offerors canrequire that their offers be accepted in a particular way and, if they do, failure to use thatway can invalidate the ‘acceptance’. For example, if I require your acceptance ‘by return ofpost’ and you wait for a week before telephoning me, your ‘acceptance’ would not be validand I could refuse to deal with you.This rule is not absolute and in practice it is tempered by the realities of commerce.Consequently, an offeree can usually use alternative means of communication providedthose means are no less beneficialto the offeror than the manner that he or she specified.Therefore, if the offeree communicates acceptance in a speedier manner (if speed waswhat was required), that speedier means will usually suffice to bring about a valid andbinding contract — even though the acceptance was not communicated in preciselythemanner that the offeror had requested. So, using our earlier example, if I were to require your acceptance ‘by return of post’ andyou were to fax me immediately upon receiving my offer, that would probably be a goodacceptance and I would probably be contractually bound to go through with the deal. It isunlikely that the courts would release me from my obligations just because you accepted byfax (a speedier and still written form of acceptance) rather than by letter.Acceptance by conductThe requirement for communication of acceptance stems from the offeror’s need to knowwhether his or her offer has been accepted. Normally, actual communication is required buta contract can also arise if the parties’ subsequent actions clearly indicate their commonbelief that acceptance has occurred.
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