Interpreting meanings based on conventions

The association between language and convention came to my mind as I was looking at the degrees of several universities online.

I recall being quite “shocked” when I received my degree from Oxford University. It was not worded the same way like degrees of other universities. (See a degree sample below). I was more used to the straightforward “This is to certify that so-and-so…” pattern.   The Oxford one reads: “This is to certify that it appears in the Registrars of the University of Oxford that so-and-so satisfied …”.

I found incomprehensible ones in Latin which I don’t comprehend:

(Image from

I also found a degree from a particular American university which starts with: “To all to whom these letters shall come, Greeting:”.

I wonder what my next degree will look or read like? I only know that its emblem looks like this:



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