2

From a recent issue of The Economist (vol 426 no 9074):

After China, where next? Over the past two decades, the world's most populous country has become the market qua non of just about every global company seeking growth.

What is the meaning of ‘qua non’ here?

I feel that ‘market qua non’ more or less means ‘indispensable market’, but that’s just speculation based on the context.

  • 1
    This likely just an oversight on the part of the writer. The context fits sine qua non. Meaning the market without which global economies cannot grow. – Gary Jan 19 '18 at 4:46
  • 1
    I agree with @Gary but I think it is more of a shorthand way of expressing the whole of the Latin phrase. I have noticed it in speech but cannot find references, when the thing being attributed is swopped for the word sine e.g. 'the wine qua non of the Riviera'. – Nigel J Jan 19 '18 at 17:30
3

As noted in a comment, this seems to be an example in rhetoric wherein a portion of a famous or well-known word or phrase is replaced with the current subject, mostly for dramatic effect, but also for brevity.

As another example of this rhetorical device, note how many significant controversies or scandals become a "gate." This is partly intended to call to mind the famous incident involving Richard Nixon's bugging of rooms at the Watergate Hotel, and make a comparison to that incident. Besides, "the controversy involving the New England Patriot's use of footballs that had not been properly pressurized" is a mouthful, while "Deflate-gate" is much shorter and fun to say. Likewise terms like Monica-gate, Envelop-gate, etc.

Likewise, notice how almost any hot meat sandwich is a something-burger, like a turkey-burger or a bison-burger. This despite the fact that the classic hamburger does not involve ham (rather is named for the city of Hamburg).

Thus, it seems the author here has decided that "market qua non" has a greater impact or reads more easily than "sine qua non of markets."

  • 1
    A real answer de grace. – Mitch Feb 6 '18 at 22:13
  • Sort of an insight-athon. – Chaim Feb 7 '18 at 14:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.