legal/lawful/legitimate use

I am trying to translate a university diploma in English and I was confused as to which word collocates best.
Would you rather say "This certificate is issued for any legal/legitimate or lawful use"?
Thank you in advance!
 
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I do not see much difference between legal and lawful in this context. I expect legal would be a little more formal but it can also mean "connected with the law" - i.e. the certificate can be used (somehow???) in the legal profession... Legitimate could also mean the same - permitted by law, I think, but it can be ambiguous as it has the added meaning of logical.

    Ultimately, if at all I thought it made any sense to say that something should be used in a lawful manner (this usually goes without saying :D ), I would probably use lawful.
     

    st r

    Member
    Italian
    Legalese (lawyer's language) often includes what I remember as hendiadys from school days: you use a pair of words with the same meaning, nouns or adjectives, connected with "and", to make the meaning stronger. In their case, I think they use it to minimize the possibility that different nuances in the meanings are not covered.

    I think it is typical in contracts, e.g., license agreements for software: "In any and every possible case you are bound to this EULA and you owe your soul to Microsoft".
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    Do you mean that this certificate should be used in accordance with the law, for lawful purposes as opposed to being used unlawfully - changed for example or falsified? Then it would be lawful.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    To be honest, ilgaleone, I find all of your options rather strange: they immediately bring to mind, for me, the question "Why would anyone think this certificate was being issued for an illegal/illegitimate/unlawful use?:confused:"

    Could you explain what the sentence is intended to mean?:)
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    Legalese (lawyer's language) often includes what I remember as hendiadys from school days: you use a pair of words with the same meaning, nouns or adjectives, connected with "and", to make the meaning stronger. In their case, I think they use it to minimize the possibility that different nuances in the meanings are not covered.

    I think it is typical in contracts, e.g., license agreements for software: "In any and every possible case you are bound to this EULA and you owe your soul to Microsoft".
    Thanks for the word hendiadys; I know (intimately) of the practice, but never had a word for it. My own certificate of appointment to my current (lawyer) job says that I am "authorized and empowered" to "execute and fulfill" my duties and "to have and to hold" my office, with all of its "powers, privileges, and emoluments."

    As to the OP, I think it's just what we lawyers call "ass-covering;" a way of saying "if you do anything illegal, it's not our fault because we told you not to."
     
    I intend to say exactly what LilianaB said above. Loob, this is a fixed frase often used in greek legal or other documents issued by public authorities. It may not make sense in english, that's why I probably haven't encountered something similar in your language :)
    Thank you all for your help! That was enlightening!
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'm still a bit confused, ilgaleone - I think Liliana was asking the same question that I was....

    I wonder if the meaning of the Greek phrase is something like" this certificate is a legally valid document"? It might be worth (a) asking in the Greek forum (b) checking with a lawyer:).
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    In Greek this is a fixed expression.

    I wonder if the meaning of the Greek phrase is something like" this certificate is a legally valid document"?

    Not exactly. The meaning is that it should be used in acccordance with the law or else for legal/legitimate/lawful purposes.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Thank you, Perseas:).

    In that case, I can't think of an equivalent expression in English - maybe someone else can?
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    My legal training comes from watching Perry Mason television shows back in the previous millennium, but from an intuitive/journalistic standpoint, I would pick "lawful," i.e. any purpose not prohibited by law.

    I would not use "legal" because that's ambiguous as to whether it's of form and substance to be admitted into courts or governmental procedures. I wouldn't go so far as to claim that distinction.

    I would not use "legitimate" because that's more of a moral judgement open to endless bickering.

    ... but that's just me.
     
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