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Notaries Say The Strangest Things

Years ago, I worked for the National Notary Association, which taught me the proper terms for all things notary public. I learned what an acknowledgment was, what a jurat was, how each state had its own notary public law, and how you can’t advertise yourself as a notario publico because in Spanish-speaking countries, such a person is an attorney, and if there was thing we got hammered into us, it was to avoid the “unauthorized practice of law.”

Included in my job description was to man the notary hotline and answer questions from notaries all over the country. Among the most common string of words I heard was, “I did a notary on this person, and did I do it right?”

Much of the time, I could honestly tell that notary that, no, he or she didn’t do something right. What I couldn’t tell them, however, was that they were misusing the word notary.

You don’t do a notary (unless you’re talking sexual, and believe me, there’s nothing sexual about notary law). You do a notarization. This is “the act, process or an instance of notarizing.”

I quickly learned that notaries weren’t the brightest people.

Until next time! Use the right words!

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December 10, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,


  1. Your blog is funny. I am not being a smart ass, but you need to add the word they in the above story. “What I couldn’t tell them, however, was that were misusing the word notary.”


    Comment by Jessy Corbeau-Vita | January 26, 2016 | Reply

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