or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, December 01, 2006

I Stand Corrected

Well, here's a mystery solved, as far as I know.

I wrote a couple of weeks back in this posting about a strange phraseology in a document I had been framing, words I couldn't make any sense of and thought must be a mistake of some sort (it seemed to use the noun "presents" instead of the adjective "present"). Today, as it happens, I was framing another diploma, and it contained these exact words (I jotted them down), in English and French:

To all to whom these presents shall come: GREETINGS!

A tous ceux que ces pr├ęsents verront, SALUTATIONS!

I'm still not altogether convinced that the English isn't just a literal, and literally incorrect, translation of the French, but in fact those words are a standard opening for what's called a letter patent, which is to say a public declaration of something or other--in this case, a degree in accounting. You can read more about the letter patent here. Good old Wikipedia: is there anything it doesn't know?


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