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 Congress intended the FAA to apply only to written contracts. Although contract terms must be given their plain and ordinary meaning, most courts unconvinced that the plain and ordinary meaning of 'writing' or 'written' necessarily cannot include any electronic writings. See Williams v. Taylor, 120 S.Ct. 1479, 1488 (2000) (words will be interpreted as taking their ordinary, contemporary, common meaning). 


Courts frequently look to dictionaries in order determine the plain meaning of words and particularly examine how a word was defined at the time the statute was drafted and enacted. The FAA was enacted in 1925. See Cortez Byrd Chips, Inc. v. Bill Harbert Construction Co., 120 S.Ct. 1331, 1333 (2000. As now, words had several different definitions. In relevant part, at the time, Webster's Dictionary defined ' writing' as: 1. The act or art of forming letters or characters on paper, wood, stone, or other material, for the purpose of recording the ideas which characters and words express, or of communicating them to others by visible signs. 2. Anything written or printed; anything expressed in characters or letters. See WEBSTER'S DICTIONARY (1913). Webster's defined 'written' as the participle of write, which it defined ...

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