How to use the term "post facto" in a sentence?

There is an oversight to our standard procedure of seeking approval to process some invoices. I am sending a reminder to concerned about the process and telling them that

I will seek post facto approval for this instance but in future all procedures must be followed.

Am I using the words "post facto" correctly?

closed as off-topic by user49727, mplungjan, MrHen, Kristina Lopez, Hellion Oct 16 '13 at 16:34

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  • "Post facto" is almost always part of "ex post facto". "Post hoc" is currently about as common in Ngrams, but more common in Google search results. In this case "after-the-fact" approval works well, too. – Merk Oct 19 '13 at 10:06

"Post facto" is used attributively denoting "after a certain event", so I think it is used here correctly. However, I feel that "post facto" is more of a legal term, and in other cases the spelling "post factum" is usually used.

  • As far as I can tell, "post facto" almost always follows 'ex.' – Merk Oct 19 '13 at 10:01

Don't use Latin words at all unless you have a goood reason. In this case, the English word you want is restrospective, which has the advantage of being more likely to be understood.

You also probably want to say a reminder to those concerned.

  • 4
    I would recommend retroactive instead, as many people consider retrospective to be a mistake when used in this sense. – Hellion Oct 16 '13 at 13:18
  • The OED’s first definition of retrospective is ‘taking effect from a date in the past; retroactive.’ – Barrie England Oct 16 '13 at 14:53
  • Yes, but user54249 is apparently trying to be firm and formal, for the record. However this is phrased to save face (there is no "or else" clause, for instance, though one is implied by the formal must), this is a warning, and it has to be clear. It's perfectly proper to be formal, but whereas retroactive is clear and unambiguous, retrospective -- and any Latin phrase -- would be less so. – John Lawler Oct 16 '13 at 16:37

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