Notwithstanding

I am an honest man. Completely. 100%. “Purely honest”. So honest that the Greek God of Honesty, Eilikrineiusus, swears upon me when she sits with other Gods and plays poker. So honest that I have no neuron-wire going between my members capable of cognitive true-false-processing functions and vocal functions.  So honest that I can tell an ugly girl that she is not beautiful. I mean I am extremely honest. As honest as the Sun rising in the east. As honest as a blue colour is blue. My honesty is as confirmed as the existence of higgs or of DNA or of higgs between various DNAs.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the aforementioned honesty stands suspended in the event of Sun setting in the West on a given day.

I am a completely loyal man. 100%. “Purely loyal”. So loyal that Greek God of Loyalty, Afosiosus, swears upon me when he goes out clubbing on Friday night with his friends, and his wife, Goddess of Suspicion, Ypopsius, needs him to assure her, by taking an oath upon my name, that he will not hit upon random fairies, unmarried goddesses et al. So loyal that dogs are jealous of my loyalty. Humans first came up with word – Fideity, which didn’t make sense; but then they came across my name and used last letter of my name to give sense and meaning to the word, and recognise my contributions to the field of fidelity.

Notwithstanding the aforementioned claims on loyalty, my loyalty is suspended in event of Sun rising in the east.

“Notwithstanding” is perhaps one of the best weapons in the arsenal of any person associated with legal profession or has come in touch with it. It has tremendous powers of diluting all what has been said, written and agreed upon. It has superior powers of negation. It can negate your existence in a court of law, let alone your claim or pleading. Governments world over, especially those who adopted the British legal system, use it to remind their respective citizens of their lowly status and their (government’s) own exalted status in the laws they enact. It is the only word, in a legal document, that separates powerful from the weak, and government from its citizens. The private corporations use it to harass the private individuals. The private individual uses it to harass a weaker private individual.

I have always been curious about this word, about its origins and about its current use as a weapon of mass fraudulence by stronger parties in a contract. Well, Oxford Dictionary tells its origins from Late Middle English as: from not + withstanding, present participle of withstand, on the pattern of Old French non obstant ‘not providing an obstacle to’. From the definition, it does appear that when the word was first introduced, it was done with  a noble intent. “Not providing an obstacle”: does sound like a noble intent. However, the legal vultures latched on to this word, and juxtaposing it with right words in a legal document turned the intended meaning of the word on its head. The word is now an obstacle in itself, not just a purveyor or non-purveyor of obstacle.

Instead of creating exceptions to the rules, this word has come to be used to define a new rule in any contract that will dilute all other rules under special circumstances. The circumstances, for example, as special as whenever a bird flaps its wings. Instead of subordinating provisions, the word has come to subordinate the weaker. I am guilty of using this word. However, I use it sparingly. Most of the time when I “use” it, it is to interpret a clause [that has this] of any act passed by a country’s government.

I know normal humans being don’t use this word. This blog post is just me indulging in catharsis for number of times I have used this word, and also about reminding myself that I can always do better than using the word “notwithstanding”.

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About Rahul

Read my blog to discover me.
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