I saw on the FDA website the following definition of cosmetics. What puzzles me is 'such term'. I have been taught that 'such' is used with singular nouns (e.g. such a book), plurals (e.g. such idiots), or uncountables (e.g. such nonsense).

(i) The term "cosmetic" means (1) articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance, and (2) articles intended for use as a component of any such articles; except that such term shall not include soap.

  • It sounds like it was written by a lawyer. Lawyers write funny. – Peter Shor Jan 15 '14 at 4:26

As @Peter Shor stated, you are reading something written in legalese, which is not necessarily written by lawyers, but used whenever a definition which may come under scrutiny is needed. Such language is often used by companies making products for human "consumption', in anticipation of a need to defend itself in a court of law.

An opinion of the oblique nature of legalese:

To American lawyers, a 22-year-old document is 'ancient,' while a 17-year-old person is an 'infant.' At one time or another, the law has defined 'dead person' to include nuns, 'daughter' to include son, and 'cow' to include horse; it has even declared white to be black.

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