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I have come across the following 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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closed as general reference by MετάEd, onomatomaniak, Matt E. 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.

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
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 E. Эллен Apr 17 '13 at 11:28
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. – nyan nyan nyan Apr 17 '13 at 12:07
@artfullyContrived Yes, it is correct. – nyan nyan nyan Apr 17 '13 at 12:08

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