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IDEM SONANS Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

Sounding the same or alike; having the same sound. A term applied to names which are substantially the same, though slightly varied in the spelling, as”Lawrence” and “Lawronce,” and the like. 1 Cromp. & M. 800; 3 Chit Gen. Pr. 171.Two names are said to be “idem sonantes” if the attentive ear finds difficulty in distinguishing them when pronounced, or if common and long-continued usage has by corruption or abbreviation made them identical in pronunciation. State v. Griffie, 118 Mo. 188, 23 S. W. 878. The rule of “idem sonans” is that absolute accuracy in spelling names is not required in a legal document or proceedings either civil or criminal; that if the name, as spelled in the document, though different from the correct spelling thereof, conveys to the ear, when pronounced according to the commonly accepted methods, a sound practically identical with the correct name as commonly pronounced,the name thus given is a sufficient identification of the individual referred to, and no advantage can be taken of the clerical error. Huhner v. Iteickhoff, 103 Iowa, 308, 72N. W. 540, 04 Am. St. Rep. 191. But the doctrine of “idem sonans” has been much enlarged by modern decisions, to conform to the growing rule that a variance, to be material, must be such as has misled the opposite party to his prejudice. State v. White,34 S. C. 59, 12 S. E. 001, 27 Am. St. Rep. 783.


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