I was reading the indictment of Paul J. Manafort, as published by The New York Times, and I got stuck on a sentence starting with

From in or about and between 2006 and 2017 [...]

I understand that the starting date here is not certain, and could be before or after 2006, but I can think of many more straightforward1 ways to say that, like “from around 2006, to 2017”.

I'd like to understand a) how to unfold that sentence grammatically, and b) what the reasons are for using this particular construct.

§ 38: From in or about and between 2006 and 2017, both dates being approximate and inclusive, ...

1 For me as a non native speaker, at least.

  • I agree, I'd say "From around 2006 to around 2017". There could be legal reasons for the strange wording, although I can't rule out the possibility that it's just badly written.
    – rjpond
    Commented Oct 30, 2017 at 21:17
  • Given that this appears to be the text of the statement of indictment, it is almost certain that the phrasing involves legal "terms of art". I would suggest that a forum discussing law and/or politics might be a good place to follow up on this; perhaps Law might be appropriate (though I don't know for sure; I don't participate there). Commented Oct 30, 2017 at 22:24

1 Answer 1


Try reading it like this-

From in [2006] or [commencing] about [2006] and [all dates] between 2006 and 2017,

It is then followed by the redundant phrase - "both dates being approximate and inclusive". I believe this is an attempt, by the prosecution, to prevent the accused from entering a plea of innocence based on incorrectly specified dates.

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