imprimatur » impremature

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • It’s one thing when homosexuals design moral views around their sexual preferences, another thing entirely when constitutional lawyers give them the impremature of constitutional legitimacy by throwing out anything based on religion. ( forum, July 20, 2009)
  • That text has nothing to do with the intent of the other text. It tries to apply the impremature of the IETF to the proposal. (IETF pptext mailing list, Dec 8, 2005)
  • The WINO “report?” Some day, to a lot of Jews, it will look like the Warren Commission Report. Which stands out as quite a piece of junk, getting the impremature of a worthless American Chief Justice. BIG DEAL. (blog comment, May 8, 2007)

Analyzed or reported by:

An _imprimatur_ — the Latin can be translated as _let it be printed_ — was originally an official license to print or publish, granted by the Roman Catholic church, thereby declaring the work in question as compatible with Roman Catholic doctrine. The word is used by extension to refer to any official endorsement, or even more widely, any kind of (emphatic) approval. The semantic link with _premature_ is that for a work that requires some institution’s imprimature, it would be premature to publish it until the imprimatur has been granted.

_Impremature_ can also be found substituting for the word _imprint_ — a particular publisher’s brand or label — as for example in:

> “Chances are good that someone–perhaps _Salon_, _Huffington Post_, the _Daily Beast_–will pick up Froomkin’s column and keep it going. Of course, it won’t quite be the same. It won’t have the Washington Post’s impremature on it.” (link)

What may be happening here is that the two rather learned terms _imprimatur_ and _imprint_ (both obviously close etymological relatives) blend in some speakers’ vocabulary, and the _imprimatur_>_impremature_ substitution extends out to _imprint_.

| link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2009/08/24 |

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