Hello, everyone,

1. Whose right it is to institute anything may abrogate it. 

The above sentence is from BURTON’S LEGAL THESAURUS, Thirty-fifth Anniversary/Fifth Edition, and appears under the headword ABROGATE 

How acceptable are this type of sentences nowadays?

Thanks.

 

 

Original Post
ahmad posted:

1. Whose right it is to institute anything may abrogate it. [. . .]

How acceptable are this type of sentences nowadays?

Hello, Ahmad,

Since the head of noun of the subject NP in your question is "type," which is singular, the verb should be singular, too: "How acceptable is this type of sentence nowadays?"

Since you have found the example in a legal dictionary, there is a chance that lawyers use "whose" to mean "He whose" or "whosever" or "whoever's." In the OED, the last example of such a usage is by John Milton, in the year 1667.

  • He whose right it is to institute something may abrogate it.
  • Whosever right it is to institute something may abrogate it.
  • Whoever's right it is to institute something may abrogate it.
David, Moderator posted:


Since you have found the example in a legal dictionary, there is a chance that lawyers use "whose" to mean "He whose" or "whosever" or "whoever's." In the OED, the last example of such a usage is by John Milton, in the year 1667.

  • He whose right it is to institute something may abrogate it.
  • Whosever right it is to institute something may abrogate it.
  • Whoever's right it is to institute something may abrogate it.

Actually, David, that phrase seems to be the literal translation of a definition in Latin:

Source: 

As a legal translator, I'd definitely use the first sentence you provided as an option:

  • He whose right it is to institute something may abrogate it.

which is another way of saying:

- Whoever institutes something is entitled to abrogate it.

or the more restrictive:

- Only he who institutes something is entitled to abrogate it.

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