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#125868 03/22/04 06:15 PM
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Date: Mon Jun 5 00:19:54 EDT 1995
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--imprimatur
im.pri.ma.tur n [NL, let it be printed, fr. imprimere to print, fr. L, to imprint, impress--more at impress] (1640) 1 a: a license to print or publish esp. by Roman Catholic episcopal authority b: approval of a publication under circumstances of official censorship 2 a: sanction approval b: imprint c: a mark of approval or distinction


#125869 03/23/04 04:35 AM
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And don't forget imprimatur's kissing cousin: nihil obstat.


#125870 03/23/04 09:38 AM
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Thanks for that uncle - for those who, like me, have never heard it before:

nihil obstat:

NOUN: 1. Roman Catholic Church ~ An attestation by a church censor that a book contains nothing damaging to faith or morals. 2. Official approval, especially of an artistic work.

ETYMOLOGY: Latin, nothing hinders : nihil, nothing + obstat, third person sing. present tense of obst re, to hinder.




#125871 03/23/04 02:06 PM
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You're welcome, dxb. I remember the first time I heard the phrase nihil obstat it was pronounced by the priest as nickel obstat. It's been a long while since I've seen a book with both these ecclesiastical okays in 'em.


#125872 03/23/04 02:15 PM
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Sometimes words with Hs in them were spelled with CH in medieval Latin, e.g., MICHI for MIHI or NICHIL for NIHIL. My own WDI is that the orthography was to explicitly indicate a pronounced H rather than a silent one.

NIHIL OBSTAT is also the motto of the National Registry of Armigers, the second amendment rights organization that believes the purpose of the second amendment to the US Constitution is to give individuals the right to have what are loosely known as coats of arms.


#125873 03/23/04 02:52 PM
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Sometimes words with Hs in them were spelled with CH in medieval Latin, e.g., MICHI for MIHI or NICHIL for NIHIL. My own WDI is that the orthography was to explicitly indicate a pronounced H rather than a silent one.

The {h} in Classical Latin was probably not pronounced (e.g., (h)arena 'sand'). Medieval Europe is another thing. I always assumed the spelling michi / nichil were pronounced with voiced palatal or velar fricatives, rather than stops.

So, armigers bear heraldic arms and heralds bear messages. And who arms the bears? Arma ursorum cano.


#125874 03/23/04 04:02 PM
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Arma ursorum cano

Or, as Agricola sang in Grunt: Pigorian Chant from Snouto Domoinko De Silo

Porcos cibumque cano.


dxb #217583 07/10/14 01:44 AM
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Let me be the devil's advocate here. Does that mean that if it did
not get the approval of the church then an imprimatur or nihil obstat
did not eventuate? I'm assuming this would be the case.


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Bazr #217598 07/10/14 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted By: Bazr
Let me be the devil's advocate here. Does that mean that if it did
not get the approval of the church then an imprimatur or nihil obstat
did not eventuate? I'm assuming this would be the case.


I'm trying to parse this question.


OK, parsed. Yes. If I understand these things correctly.

Last edited by Faldage; 07/10/14 10:21 AM.
Bazr #217609 07/10/14 03:08 PM
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A nihil obstat (nothing hinders) is issued by the censor (usually a bishop) and means that he does not find anything doctrinelly objectionable in the book under review. The imprimatur (let it be printed) is the final OK (also issued by a bishop).


Ceci n'est pas un seing.

Moderated by  Jackie 

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