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to underlie strict security requirements

Discussion in 'English Only' started by tanguera, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. tanguera Member


    In a text dealing with confidentiality issues, I have come upon sentence "The whole database is classified and therefore underlies strict security requirements". Does this mean: since the database is classified, strict secuirty measures should be applied? I am not sure about the meaning of "underlie" though, as I could not find in dictionaries the meaning that could lend itself to my proposed interpretation.

    Thank you for your time and kind regards.
  2. tottallyoff

    tottallyoff Senior Member

    Is the text translated from somewhere else? The sentence doesnt really make sense with 'underlie' there.
  3. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southern England
    English - England
    Wow! this is tricky, tanguera, because of the therefore.

    The therefore suggests that it follows that anything which is classified underlies strict security requirements.

    I don't see how this can mean anything, so I'd adopt an alternative approach and think that the writer either wasn't sure of the force of therefore or of the meaning of underlie.

    The second seems the more probable solution, and your question suggests you have come to a similar view.

    What could it mean?

    Well, how about: it's classified, so strict security requirements apply ? This means that it's secret and so you can expect trouble if you tell anyone. This would be true of all that was classified, so it gets round that problem.

    I can't easily think of a likely alternatve, though someone else may.
  4. tanguera Member

    Tottallyoff, I believe the text may have been translated from German, as it is about a German company, but I cannot be sure...
    But this has set me thinking, underlie in German is "unterliegen", which may, depending on the context mean "be subject to" (at least that is what I found in Leo online German-English dictionary).

    This fits well into what Thomas Tompion suggested, doesn't it?
    Thank you very much!
  5. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southern England
    English - England
    That's a brilliant suggestion tanguera; thank you.

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