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Does a student hold, own, possess, or something else a transcript?

My wife just asked me a question for which I do not have an answer. She asked me, "holder or owner of a transcript?" I wasn't sure about either.

Might anyone here have the definitive answer to this question?

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closed as not a real question by MετάEd, Matt Эллен, aedia λ, tchrist, Kris Apr 28 '13 at 10:14

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Can you explain what the verb is supposed to mean? You can do all sorts of things with a transcript. As it stands, there isn't enough information to answer your question. –  Cerberus Apr 26 '13 at 4:31
    
The subject does not say it all. Please refrain from making such claims. –  KitFox Apr 26 '13 at 12:34
    
I would think "have a transcript" pretty well covers it. Like any other important document such as a contract, a mortgage, a report card, a prescription...while it's true you possess, own and (can) hold them, the simplest term is that you "have" them. I hope this helps! :-) –  Kristina Lopez Apr 27 '13 at 1:21

3 Answers 3

Bing dictionary calls a transcript (definition 2):

student's academic history: an official document showing the educational work of a student in a school or college

If you focus on the transcript as a document, like a passport or a driver's license, then the student holds the document. But unlike a document, transcripts can have many official versions. In contrast, the student may, under normal circumstances, only have one official driver's license or one official EU passport.

The student could own or possess a transcript, just as she could own or possess a 1969 VW Beetle. (It's possible to think that a prospective grad school might also own the transcript by virtue of the student ordering a copy and sending it to the prospective grad school.)

If you focus on the history aspect, then ownership or possession sounds suspect. One could just as easily say that the university owns the historical aspect of the transcript.

The answer to your question depends on what you're trying to express. Perhaps the simplest way to express the notion of possession would be:

The student has a transcript.

If you're actually referring to the degree:

The student earned a B.S. in Applied Physics.

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A student just has a transcript.

An employer might will ask:

Please send a copy of your transcript.

A student might ask:

Would you like to see my transcript?

My transcript is exceptional.

I can't think of a situation in which a student would have to talk about the specific owner relationship of their transcript. Frankly I would reword any sentence that caused you to talk specifically about ownership of a transcript. enter image description here

In a completely unrelated usage, saying "Yes, I happen to own a copy of the official transcript of the court proceedings." is perfectly acceptable.

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Replace 'transcript' with 'car' and search ngrams of those. That doesn't prove anything. Have, own, hold and possess are practically synonyms. "Have" is just more common. In the case of a transcript, though. I would say you don't "own" it, as it is a record that belongs to the educational institution. –  Octopus Apr 26 '13 at 6:10
    
@Octopus- what it shows is that nobody says "own" or "hold" a transcript; ngrams not found. –  Jim Apr 26 '13 at 14:52

The normal verb in American English is "to have":

I have a certified copy of a transcript from XYZ University of my undergraduate courses and grades.
I have a BA in International Relations from XYZ University.
I earned an MA in Linguistics from ABC University.

But a transcript isn't an academic degree, just one form of evidence that you attended a university or a high school, took certain classes there, earned specific credit hours, and got certain grades. It isn't the degree, merely a form of proof that you were awarded a degree.

It seems fairly common for speakers of British-influenced English to say things like;

I hold a degree in Economics....
I possess a degree in History....
I own a degree in Physics....

It seems to me that hold and possess are perfectly reasonable substitutes for I have a degree in..., but that own isn't. I may be wrong about that, but a degree isn't a concrete object, and unless you bought it from one of those degree merchants selling phony PhDs, it doesn't make sense to say that you own it.

Taiwanese often say that they own things like academic degrees, however. It may be a translation problem.

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