Submitted by Perfect Pedant  •  October 5, 2011

“Under urgency”

“Under urgency”? I recently came across this phrase for the first time in my life. The context was:- “Parliament passed the Copyright Amendment Act into law under urgency last night” Can’t really put my finger on why, and I can’t at the moment come up with an alternative, but it just doesn’t sound right. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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I don't think it is wrong grammatically ... liken to "under duress". But I agree, it does sound odd.

Are you in New Zealand? I took a look and the only place it seems to be used is in NZ ... Are the kiwis making a new phrase?

From the NZ Parliament's website:

Urgency in the House

The House of Representatives sometimes goes into “urgency” to make progress on business additional to what would be possible under the normal rules for sitting hours and progress of business.
http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/Features/8/f/a/0...

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I'd be more worried about what they passed "under urgency":

Updated at 8:25 pm on 6 October 2011

Parliament has passed a controversial police surveillance bill under urgency on Thursday.

The Government only secured the votes it needed at the start of the week after a parliamentary select committee made significant changes.

The Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) Bill, which allows police to secretly film suspects, passed by 105 to 14 with the Maori Party, the Greens and Mana voting against.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira told Parliament the bill enables state agencies to invade the privacy of citizens.

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@AnWulf

Yes, I am in NZ.
I "googled" the phrase and the vast majority of hits were from NZ. There were one or two from US and UK.
It does seem that Antipodeans do enjoy inventing new words and phrases or finding new ways to use existing words and phrases.
Some examples:
"The first five eight (fly-half in rugby union) was stood down (suspended) for disciplinary reasons."
"The whole town farewelled the late mayor."

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Well, not the way I brook "stand down" but I guess it is a good anglo-root way for "suspend". Kind of makes sense, but I can see a gray areas for bewilderment (bewilderness?).

FB - If he doesn't stop cheating, I'll stand him down. ... Does that mean suspend him or fire him?

The better way to make a verb from a noun with be- ... but "befarewell" seems to be a mouthful. lol ...

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I saw your comment and came to suggest the same usage as "under duress." This term implies that it was "under" certain pressure, or time constraint. It could have been written another way, but "under urgency" is being used to communicate the urgent necessity of the Act being passed into law. And as the Wolf said, I'd be more interested to know WHY there was an Act before Parliament that required them to act, likely without benefit of much study, research and/or dissection of the Act, prior to voting on it and passing it into law. Something sounds fishier there than in the language. Perhaps there was a subliminal "something is wrong" that underscored your perception ;-D

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It sounds weird, but I don't think it's wrong. I agree with that first guy, that it's probably like "under duress."

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