Put your John Henry on the dotted line
Jul 19, 2010 | 2346 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
IN THE PAST a man’s word was considered his bond and a transaction was sealed with a hand shake. For the most part, that is no longer true. A legal contract is now the name of the game.

Most transactions involve a standard printed contract which has been formulated by a lawyer or a law firm. Once two parties sign such a contract it becomes legally binding on both the buyer and seller.

With this in mind a buyer of merchandise involving a contract should consider all of its ramifications before signing it. Many fail to read through such a legal document before hand. Often such contracts have very small print at the bottom of its page.

SOMETIMES that small print is printed in light gray ink. This makes it very difficult to read without a magnifying glass. Obviously it is printed that way to discourage a buyer in taking the time to read and understand the conditions and stated limitations therein.

The Truth in Lending Act was passed by congress and signed into law in 1968. Its purpose was to protect the consumer by spelling out the disclosures pertaining to terms and costs involved in a contract.

A standardized means in which costs associated with borrowing are calculated and stated therein. With the exception of high-cost mortgage loans the Truth in Lending Act does not set the amount of interest that can be charged. It does, however, allow the percentage of interest charged be made known so the potential buyer can shop around. That way an individual might save a considerable amount of money by obtaining a loan at a lower interest rate.

The seller is also protected by a legal contract. My dad had those who shirked their responsibility of faithfully making payments after buying from him on credit. Among the businesses in which he owned included a grocery store, a furniture store, and a car agency.

THERE IS an old song about “a dollar down and a dollar a week.” Easy credit has got many a family in trouble financially. In fact, families have “broke-up” because of having money problems.

Being overcommitted in making payments will soon cause a person’s money to play out before the end of the month.

“Put your John Henry on the dotted line” is a simple way of saying, “Sign your name at the place designated. That old saying is derived from an older saying of: “Sign your John Hancock!”

This latter saying became a common saying after John Hancock was the first person to sign the United States Declaration of Independence. It is believed that he signed his name on that document in large letters so that King George III would have no trouble in reading his name.

Dub Mowery is a Gospel preacher in the Church of Christ. Presently he serves as full time evangelist for the Pritchett Church of Christ. A native of Southeast Oklahoma, he is the author of Colloquial Sayings & Expressions (Morris Publishing, 2008) nativeheritage@etex.net
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Brian C
December 13, 2014
Signing one's "John Henry" is not derived from another saying, rather just a misstatement of the real saying involving "John Hancock." So if someone references a signature as a "John Henry" they are just wrong.