09/06/16 BUY or PURCHASE?

e-legal lesson

The verb purchase is used in contracts more often than the verb buy. Given that, generally, simpler words are better, why not use buy instead of purchase? Here’s what that would look like:
Acme hereby purchases

[read buys] the Shares
But aside from ingrained habit, an obstacle to making this change might be the noun form of buy:
The buying of the Shares…
The gerund buying is awkward. By contrast, the noun purchase doesn’t pose this problem.

References to a fundamental concept in a contract are easier to read if you use related verb and noun forms to express that concept. It follows that the brevity of the verb buy is more than offset by the awkwardness of the noun form of buy. Use the verb purchase.