An acceptance must be positive and unambiguous. This requirement is often treated as identical with the requirement dealt with in the following sections that an acceptance must not change, add to or qualify the terms of the offer, and such changes or qualifications undoubtedly prevent an acceptance from being positive and unequivocal; but even though no change in the offer is suggested in the reply of the offeree, it nevertheless may not so clearly indicate assent to the offer as to create a contract. Thus a reply to an offer to lease premises in the following terms, was held not to make a binding contract:-"I have decided on taking No. 22 Belgrade Road, and have spoken to my agent Mr. C, who will arrange matters with you." 32 So a telegram to a bidder for public work, "You are low bidder. Come on .morning train." 33 So the following reply to an offer to sell coal "telegram received. You can consider the coal sold. Will be in Cleveland and arrange particulars next week." 34 Likewise a reply to an offer to sell land, "Have twice attempted the tender of the first payment of $500 upon the agreement made between us on the 7th of December last. I will meet you, etc., when I shall be ready to make tender of the money and execute the proper agreements thereupon," is insufficient.35 An acknowledgment of an order which stated that the order will receive best attention, or prompt attention, has also been held not an acceptance, since it implies no promise to comply with the terms of the order.36 But if there has once been unequivocal acceptance the contract is complete and its binding force cannot be affected by subsequent communications unless they amount to a mutual agreement to rescind.37
32 Stanley v. Dowdeswell, L. R. 10 C P. 102.
33Cedar Rapids Lumber Co. p. Fisher, 129 Ia, 332, 105 N. W. 595, 4 L. R. A. (N. S.) 177.
34 Martin v. Northwestern Fuel Co., 22 Fed. 598.
35Potto v. Whitehead, 23 N. J. Eq. 512. See aba Appleby v. Johnson, L.R.9 C.P. 158; Bowen v. Hart, 101 Fed. 376,41C. C. A. 390; Pike County v. Spencer, 192 Fed. 11, 112 C. C. A. 433; Havens v. American Fire Ins.
Co., 11 Ind. App. 31S, 39 N. E. 40; Krum v. Chamberlain, 57 Neb. 220, 77 N. W. 665; Thurber v. Smith, 25 R. I. 60,54 Atl. 790.
36 Manier v. Appling, 112 Ala. 663,20 So. 978; Courtney Shoe Co. v. Curd, 42 Ky. 219, 134 S. W. 146, 38 L. R. A. (N. S.) 903, VanKeuran v. Boomer & Boschert Press Co., 143 N. Y. App. Div. 785, 128 N. Y. Supp. 306; National Cash Register Co. v. McCann, 140 N. Y. Supp. 916, 80 N. Y. Misc. 165.