Re: Please RSVP... (was: US-ASCII)

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Fri Dec 10 2004 - 21:11:34 CST

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    > RSVP is a French acronym for "Répondez, s'il vous plait".

    Yes, we know that.

    But it is also a reanalyzed English verb which means
    "reply to a message (or invitation)".

    That it has been morphological reanalyzed is demonstrated by the
    fact that it takes regular English verb endings, as in:

      "I RSVPed yesterday, right after I got the email."
    As I said, it is now a bona fide English verb, and most
    English speakers will treat it as such.

    > SVP means "please" in English, so when I see "Please RSVP", there's a sort
    > of repetition of "please", as if it was an emphatic and desesperate request:
    > "Please reply, please"!

    That's actually a misinterpretation by people who "know too
    much" -- particularly French speakers. ;)

    "Please RSVP" actually means "Please reply (to this invitation)",
    and is polite, not emphatic or desperate.


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