I got this from an email. The usage of grandfather, the red part below, is so strange to me. Could you explain it to me? Thanks a lot.


All of the Adobe products were updated on Monday, but the earliest we will receive the new versions is the beginning of July. The good news is that Adobe will give you a free upgrade to the new version if you buy now. Here's the info straight from Adobe:

Technology Guarantee (Grandfather ) Information:

Eligibility Period: June 2 – August 31, 2008 End of Claims: September 15, 2008

Process: Student must contact Adobe Customer Service (800-833-6687) directly to claim his/her post announce upgrade. He/she will need to supply the following:

Dated proof of purchase from an Adobe Authorized Reseller

Product Serial Number

Product, language and platform

Name and physical shipping address

Daytime phone number and e-mail address

It just seems to mean that they will take care of people who are later found to have this older version of the software.

I haven't seen this usage before.

I usually see the term used about new laws. eg A new law says that all teachers must have a degree. But a clause in the new law saysys that if you have already been teaching for 5 years and don't have a degree, the new law does not apply to you. Such a clause is commonly called 'a grandfather clause'. Such teachers are said to be 'grandfathered'.

It's a form of slang.

Best wishes, Clive
The term comes from the original Grandfather clause, which allowed people to avoid Poll Taxes and such if their grandfather was allowed to vote before the taxes were passed.

The usage today is based on the prohibition of "ex post facto" law, which means that you can't break a law that doesn't yet exist. As well as continuing to allow someone to do something that's always been done.

E.g. During Prohibition, Catholics and Jews were still allowed to use wine for religious purposes. Or in California, a certain type of rifle was made illegal, but anyone who bought one before the ban was allowed to keep it. Or Cuban Cigars that were imported before the embargo are still legal to buy and sell in the US.
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So something being grandfathered is like something being permitted in a special situation which is usually forbiden?

Just like a grandfather dotes on his grandchildren? This seems to make sense to me now. Interesting, English!
 Vorpar's reply was promoted to an answer.
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