Verba nihil operari melius est quam absurde
- (Civil law.) It is better that words have no effect than to have an absurd one. Verba non tam intuenda, quam causa et natura rei, ut mens contrahentium ex eis potius quam ex verbis appareat. (Civil law.) Words are not to be regarded as much as the cause and nature of the thing, so that the intent of the contracting parties may appear from these rather than from the words.
Ballentine's law dictionary. Anderson, W.S.. 1998.
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verba nihil operari melius est quam absurde — /varba nay(h)al opareray miyl(i)yas est kwaem absardiy/ It is better that words should have no operation at all than [that they should operate] absurdly. A maxim of the civil law … Black's law dictionary