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I have come across the below sentence but it doesn't quite sound right.

Absent additional configuration, permits will be distributed at a fixed rate.

Is the first part of the sentence correct? If not, then what is a good way of phrasing it?

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Using absent like that seems common in American English, although it does not occur in standard British English. What do you intend it to mean? –  Andrew Leach Apr 17 '13 at 10:54
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Absent here just means in the absence of, without. In other words, if additional configuration does not occur, permits will be distributed at a fixed rate. –  onomatomaniak Apr 17 '13 at 10:59
    
@onomatomaniak Do you mean it really means, or it is the intention of the writer to mean? Is the structure grammatical and popular? I think in the absence of is what is required. –  Kris Apr 17 '13 at 11:15
    
@Kris What it really and truly means. See the prepositional definition of the word: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absent –  onomatomaniak Apr 17 '13 at 11:26
    
@Kris it really means that. It is synonymous with without. –  Matt Эллен Apr 17 '13 at 11:28
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closed as general reference by MετάEd, onomatomaniak, Matt Эллен, tchrist, Hellion Apr 17 '13 at 15:11

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The word absent here functions as a preposition. This is not very common in British English but it appears to be a lot more common in American English.

absent | formal, North American

without: employees could not be fired absent other evidence.

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I disagree that it is uncommon. It strikes me as a standard, perfectly acceptable usage in American English. –  onomatomaniak Apr 17 '13 at 11:27
    
@A As much as it is Uncommon, is it correct? –  artfullyContrived Apr 17 '13 at 11:29
    
@onomatomaniak By not very common I'm suggesting that it is less common in British English. Sorry. I should have clarified that. –  0arch Apr 17 '13 at 12:07
    
@artfullyContrived Yes, it is correct. –  0arch Apr 17 '13 at 12:08
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