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I applied for and received a court order to change my name and it had an odd phrase that I'm struggling to understand:

...it is hereby ordered that the name of [previous legal name] be and the same is changed to [new legal name];

I've searched around for definitions of this phrase but only found a few other examples of usage, some of which have an extra comma to produce "be, and the same is hereby [granted/ordered/approved/etc]," suggesting one might parse the sentence as two overlapping clauses "the name of [X] be [Y]" and "the name of [X] is changed to [Y]." But in that case I'm still not sure why those two clauses have distinct enough effects to need to both be present.

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It's not a single phrase. It's two different parts of a compound predicate in the passive voice. The past participle is the same in both elements, so it is elided from one of them. A more transparent but repetitive way of writing this is

...it is hereby ordered that the name of [previous legal name] be changed to [new legal name], and the same is hereby so changed.

Or even

...it is hereby ordered that the name of [previous legal name] be changed to [new legal name], and [previous legal name] is hereby changed to [new legal name].

The purpose of this seemingly duplicate language is that saying "it is ordered that X be Y" in the subjunctive mood could be interpreted as saying that something should happen but not actually causing it to happen. But saying "it is ordered that X is Y" was grammatically incorrect in the 17th century or so.

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  • Downvote -- why?
    – phoog
    Jun 3, 2023 at 20:13

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