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No more latin!

Companies House have rejected a document because they have decided they don’t like the phrase ‘pari passu’ which is often use when describing the share rights on company secretarial documents - eg.’ All shares rank pari passu in all respects’. The literal translation from Latin apparently means ‘on equal step or equal footing’ which they don’t believe makes sense in the sentence. I am told it is acceptable to substitute these words with ‘equally’. 

so there to all the lawyers, inter alia


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29th Feb 2012 21:43

Isn't the problem...

... the "in all respects".  It's superfluous to the meaning of pari passu. Ergo you should either say " all shares rank paris passu" or "all shares rank equally in all respects".

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29th Feb 2012 22:21

Pari passu

I had one rejected where I said all shares rank pari passu. 

If you use' All shares like rank pari passu like' it is probably ok

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29th Feb 2012 22:33

Am I shocked when the [removed by mod] frequently reject ROs on the Isle of Wight as being "outside of UK"?

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01st Mar 2012 00:31

In my experience of the criminal courts in England & Wales over the past 10 years or so a person expressing himself in Latin is likely to be persona non grata - not to mention being unlikely to win the hearts and minds of the jury!

In English courts most Latin terms were all but axed a while ago.  For example in civil cases one does not hear of a 'plaintiff' these days (he is the claimant).

North of the Border the terminology is rather different though.  (I did wonder for a while why Scottish lawyers seemed to be obsessed with their weight - until I learnt that a 'diet' is a court hearing!)


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01st Mar 2012 16:05

foreign words

Companies (a word of latin extraction) House (a word of german extraction) really has no right (german) to dictate (latin) what terms (latin?) can and cannot be used, particularly (latin again) if they are in the Oxford (anglo saxon?) Dictionary (?) - which pari passu is.

Can someone with too much time to spare please challenge Compagnies Haus.

Ok I haven't checked all the derivations - but no doubt there is a pedant somewhere........... 

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By zebaa
01st Mar 2012 16:24

@ David

'Diet' can also be a type of meeting. My favorite, in this usage, is 'the diet of worms' (A town in Germany).

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01st Mar 2012 16:26


zebaa wrote:

'Diet' can also be a type of meeting. My favorite, in this usage, is 'the diet of worms' (A town in Germany).


So that's why Uberwald has a 'Diet of Bugs' in the Discworld... Thanks!

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02nd Mar 2012 12:45

So my three years of Latin in Grammar School

40 years ago really WERE a complete waste of time.  I always thought so!

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02nd Mar 2012 13:32

Well, actually

I enjoyed my five years of Latin in grammar school over 30 years ago!

Can't say I'm surprised by this although not experienced it myself (yet). It's just part of the relentless dumbing down and replacement of one precise word or term with a woolly equivalent often stretching to a couple of sentences or even a short paragraph.

As comptable has implied, though, if "pari passu" is in the OED, then who are CH to pass themselves off as the language police?

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02nd Mar 2012 15:31

My latin master used to say that the reason to learn latin was so that we could translate the inscriptions on gravestones when escorting our girlfirends (was a boys' school!) around graveyards. He never explained why we would be taking our girlfriends to graveyards!!

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