shall or will imperative

Can anyone advise me please? Is the following sentence correct?
'It is assumed that legal and regulatory requirements shall always be met.'
Robotic checkers say it is OK, but it feels wrong - any suggestions?

Comments

  • DavidCrosbieDavidCrosbie ✭✭✭

    Over several centuries, the verb shall has been disappearing from English. Traces of what it used to mean are found here and there.

    1. Most importantly, we use Shall I? and Shall we? in speech.

      • Shall I do it? is an OFFER
      • Shall we do it? is a SUGGESTIO

      (In In Scotland and Ireland, it's OK to say Will ? and Will we?)

    2. In formal writing, many people use I shall and we shall. This was taught as 'correct' in the past. The rule was in two parts:

      • The first part said it was IN 'NORMAL' LANGUAGE 'correct' to use
        I shall, You will, He/She/It will, We shall, They will.
        This 'rule' was easy to understand, and not too difficult to remember when writing.
        In speech, and in informal writing, we normally use
        I'll, You'll, He'll etc or I'm going to etc

      • The second part tried to say when it was 'correct' to use
        I will, You shall, He/She/It shall, We will, They will
        Hardly anybody now understands this 'rule' and even fewer people remember to apply it.
        In a really stupid story, a man shouts:
        ' I will drown and no-one shall save me!'
        and the bystanders leave him to drown.

    3. In an imitation of Biblical language but in no other style of Englsh, people say 'Thou shalt not' or even 'Thou shalt'.

    4. In imitation of 'You shall go to the ball, Cinderella!', some people use You shall to make a PROMISE.

    5. In legal language but in no other style of English, lawyers (and people imitating lawyers) use shall to mean 'is under an obligation to'. For example The first party shall undertake...

    Your sentence feels wrong because it uses shall in a legal sense, but the rest of the sentence is not really in a careful legal style. The PASSIVE be met is useful to the writer because it doesn't specify who is under and obligation to meet the requirements. But legal language is designed to be specific. The other PASSIVE It is assumed also seems inappropriate for legal language.
    * Who assumes this?
    * Does assume mean
    (a) 'think with reason, although it's not explicitly stated'
    or
    (b) 'think whether or not one has reason'?

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