nemine contradicente

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nemine contradicente

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:01 am

aaa
<2016 “—that moving house was one of the most stressful of life’s experiences—even if not quite as disturbing as being the victim of an armed robbery or being elected president, nemine contradicente of an unstable South American republic.”—The Revolving Door of Life by Alexander McCall Smith, page 13>
It’s hard to guess the meaning of the phrase even in context, but once the definition is given it seems obvious. However, with only about 50,000 Google hits it’s not the most popular phrase on the block.

OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY

NEMINE CONTRADICENTE (ne·mi·ne con·tra·di·cen·te) [ne-mi-ne kohn-trah-di-ken-te] [1662]

Especially with reference to a motion carried: (with) no one speaking (or voting) against; = NEM. CON. adverb(Latin). Also (occasionally) as adjective. [[No one contradicting; unanimously; without a dissenting vote (from various dictionaries.]]
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OXFORD DICTIONARIES

Etymology: Mid 17th cent.; earliest use found in John Davies (1625–1693), translator. From post-classical Latin nemine contradicente‘(with) no one speaking against’ (classical Latin has the phrase contrādīcente nullō), ablative absolute phrase from classical Latin nēmine, ablative of nēmō no one + contrādīcente, ablative of present participle of contrādīcere. [[nobody contradicting]]
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The following quotes are from the Oxford English Dictionary and archived sources:
<1682 “The Imperial Cities . . .(nemine contradicente) rejected it.”—London Mercury, 22 August, page 1/1/>

<1818 “Resolved, Nemine Contradicente That a Message be sent from this House to congratulate their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on their happy nuptials.”—Journal of the House of Commons, 6 June, Vol. 73, page424/1>

<1934 “The Peers expressed their dissatisfaction with Ito by passing nemine contradicente all Government bills during the remainder of the session.”—American Political Science Review, Vol.28, page 28>

<2000 “The drawing was accepted, nemine contradicente.”—Church Times, 2 March, page 11/5>

<2003 “Subsequently on June 13th, the Assembly adopted a resolution nemine contradicente that the practices and rules recommended in the report be implemented and brought into force effective the first. . .”— Saskatchewan Magazine (Canada), Canadian Parliamentary Review; 22 December>

<2010 “Premier Dennis Fentie stated that the Government fully supported the motion, which was agreed to that day, nemine contradicente.”—Yukon Magazine, Canadian Parliamentary Review, 22 September>

<2014 “ Congratulations to Nicola Sturgeon, now formally elected nemine contradicente, as her own legal profession would say, leader of the Scottish National Party.”—The Scotsman (Edinburgh, Scotland), 15 November>
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Ken G — February 20, 2016
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Re: nemine contradicente

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:15 pm

Ken, I'm having trouble understanding how the expression should be read in the context of the McCall Smith sentence you cited:
“—that moving house was one of the most stressful of life’s experiences—even if not quite as disturbing as being the victim of an armed robbery or being elected president, nemine contradicente of an unstable South American republic.”
If we substitute 'nobody contradicting / unanimously' for 'nemine contradicente', we get:
“—that moving house was one of the most stressful of life’s experiences—even if not quite as disturbing as being the victim of an armed robbery or being elected president, {nobody contradicting / unanimously}, of an unstable South American republic.”
So according to McCall Smith, moving house is not quite as disturbing as being elected president of an unstable South American republic with no votes cast against one.

I don't get it. What is McCall Smith actually trying to say here with the aid of his fancy Latin phrase and his comparison involving a rigged election in the developing world?
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Re: nemine contradicente

Post by tony h » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:08 pm

Erik my take on this is that if you are elected in these circumstances ...
Erik_Kowal wrote:even if not quite as disturbing as... being elected president, nemine contradicente of an unstable South American republic
... then in such a corrupt (elected unopposed) and unstable state there are plenty of people with power and means to hasten your departure from this world to the next.
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Signature: tony

With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

Re: nemine contradicente

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:52 pm

Thanks. That sort of makes sense.
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Re: nemine contradicente

Post by Bobinwales » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:58 pm

When I used to write minutes, other people do it now, such a decision would be shown as "passed without dissent". Meaning that everyone who voted, voted for the motion, but not everyone voted.
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: nemine contradicente

Post by Phil White » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:38 pm

I have only ever seen (or used) nem. con. I would probably have guessed the Latin more or less correctly, but I'm pretty certain I have never seen it written out or heard it spoken.

Otherwise I am with Erik. Can't see the sense in the context Ken gave. Following Tony's line makes it mean something like "being unanimously volunteered to become president".
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Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

End of topic.
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