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Grammar Dispute Comes To Colorado Legislature

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Colorado State Capitol (credit: Jason Hussong)

Colorado State Capitol (credit: Jason Hussong)

DENVER (AP) – It’s the kind of grammar dilemma that could drive a schoolteacher crazy, and Colorado lawmakers are on the case.

A bill given preliminary approval in the state House Tuesday clarifies the difference between “must” and “shall.” The so-called “authority verbs” are frequently used in legislation to state that an entity or person is directed to do something.

The legislation approved Tuesday states that “shall” means that a person has a duty. The word “must” means a person or thing is required to meet a condition for a consequence to apply.

Lawmakers joked around using Latin phrases before approving the measure on a unanimous voice vote. One more vote is required before the grammar bill moves to the Senate.

LINK: House Bill 29

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