Words which are omitted by inadvertance from a written contract may be supplied by construction at law, without resort to reformation if the context shows what words are omitted.1 Thus the omission of a dollar sign may be supplied from a context which shows that money was contracted for, as the number given will be assumed to refer to dollars as units of value.2 So in a promise to pay "twenty-five after date," the surrounding facts may be looked to, to show that "days" was the omitted word.3 So figures showing numbers may be used to supply the numbers omitted from the words in the body of the instrument.4 So in a provision, "In case the said party of the first part shall to fully and entirely" 5 the word "fail" may be supplied from a corresponding provision containing the phrase, "to be in default." The word "not" may be supplied from the context in case of evident omission.1 Errors apparent on the face of the instrument may be corrected at law by construction without resort to equity.7 Thus the context may show that "or" means "and."6 If one of the parties to a contract is named incorrectly,9 or if a reference is made to a party of the second part when the party of the first part is intended,10 and such mistake can be corrected by means of the context of the contract, it may be thus corrected at law.

3 United States. Ewing v. Burnet, 36 U. S. (11 Pet.) 41, 9 L. ed. 624; Holmes v. Ins. Co., 98 Fed. 240, 47 L. R. A. 308, 39 C. C. A. 45.

California. Stoddart v. Golden, - . Cal. - , 3 A. L. R. 1060, 178 Pac. 707.

Illinois. Allen v. United States Fidelity Co., 269 111. 234, 109 N. E. 1035.

Nebraska. Rice v. Lincoln & N. W. Ry., 88 Neb. 307, 129 N. W. 425.

West Virginia. Ketchum v. Spur-lock, 34 W. Va. 597, 12 S. E. 832.

The presence of semicolons between the phrases indicating the different installments in which a debt is payable does not prevent a provision for interest at the end of the sentence from applying to all the installments. Stoddart v. Golden, - Cal. - , 3 A. L. R. 1060, 178 Pac. 707.

4 Abbott's Estate, 198 Pa. St. 493, 48 Atl. 435.

5 Joy v.,St. Louis, 138 U. S. 1, 34 L. ed. 843.

6 Ewing v. Burnet, 36 U. S. (11 Pet.) 41, 9 L. ed. 624; Armory Mfg. Co. v. Ry., 89 Tex. 419, 59 Am. St. Rep. 65, 37 S. W. 856.

7 Edwards v. Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co., 173 N. Car. 614, 92 S. E. 695.

8 Bank v. Redwine, 171 N. Car. 559, 88 S. E. 878.

9 Bank v. Redwine, 171 N. Car. 559, 88 S. E. 878.

If words or phrases appear in a contract which are without meaning when read in connection with the contract as a whole, such words or phrases may be rejected as surplusage and they will not so operate as to defeat the entire. contract.11 Abbreviations,12 or the sign "etc.,,,13 may be ignored in construction if without meaning. If a contract provides for delivering property but not for constructing it or setting it in place, a provision in the contract for a specified notice that the foundations were ready for such property is to be rejected as surplusage.14 If the recital of the consideration refers to the considerations "hereinafter named," such words may be rejected as surplusage if no further consideration is in fact named.15 Unless the context requires it, the courts can not construe "may" as equivalent to "shall" in a contract.16

1 Arkansas. Irwin v. Nichols, 87 Ark. 97, 112 S. W. 209.

Illinois. Richelieu Hotel Co. v. Encampment Co., 140 111. 248. 33 Am. St. Rep. 234, 29 N. E. 1044.

Massachusetts. Pacific Surety Co. v. Toye, 224 Mass. 98, 112 N. E. 653.

Minnesota. Gran v. Spangenberg, 53 Minn. 42, 54 N. W. 933.

New Jersey. Sisson v. Donnelly, 36 N. J. L. 432; Monmouth Park Association v. Iron Works, 55 N. J. L. 132, 39 Am. St. Rep. 626, 19 L. R. A. 456, 26 Atl. 140.

2 Richelieu Hotel Co. v. Encampment Co., 140 111. 248, 33 Am. St. Rep. 234, 29 N. E. 1044.

3Boykin v. Bank, 72 Ala. 262, 47 Am. Rep. 408.

4 Gran v. Spangenberg, 53 Minn. 42, 54 N. W. 933.

5 Monmouth Park Association v. Iron Works, 55 N. J. L. 132, 39 Am. St. Rep. 626, 19 L. R. A. 456, 26 Atl. 140.

6 Irwin v. Nichols, 87 Ark. 97, 112 S. W. 209.

7Manson v. Dayton, 153 Fed. 258, 82 C. C. A. 588; Siegel, etc., Co. v. Colby, 176 111. 210, 52 N. E. 917 raffirming, 61 111. App. 315]; Kannow v. Farmers' Co-op. Shipping Association, 76 Neb. 330, 107 N. W. 563.

8 Manson v. Dayton, 153 Fed. 258, 82 C. C. A. 588; Bettman v. Harness, 42 W. Va. 433, 36 L. R. A. 566.

9 Kannow v. Farmers' Co-op. Shipping Association, 76 Neb. 330, 107 N. W. 563.

10 Rapp v. Linebarger, 149 la. 429, 128 N. E. 555 [reversing on rehearing, 125 N. W. 209].