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May 15 2013   10:26AM GMT

As you requested, per and as per



Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
Tags:
Affectations
Bryan A. Garner
business jargon
CIO
word choice
word meaning

Which is correct?

me2 small b&w ___________________________, I’m attaching my tax records for the years 1987-2012.
a. Per your request
b. As per your request
c. As you requested

Answer: c.

Explanation:
Per can mean according to or in accordance with — so it’s not wrong, exactly. People often use it to make their writing more formal, but it sounds fusty. Writing guides usually condemn it as jargon. As per is worse — it’s not only fusty but also redundant, which makes it silly. Silly and overly formal make for a bad combination, made all the sillier because it’s apparent that the writer is trying to sound very businesslike and official.

The Oxford dictionary of American usage and style (ed. Bryan A. Garner) lists examples:

“When used to mean ‘according to’ (per your request, per your order), the expression [per] is business jargon at its worst and should be avoided.” (Charles T. Brusaw et al., The Business Writer’s Handbook, 1987)

As per: This hybrid is inexcusable. Instead of ‘as per your request,’ say ‘in accordance with your request’ or ‘in compliance with your request.’ (Maurice H. Weseen, Crowell’s dictionary of English Grammar, 1928)

As you requested is straightforward and, really, as formal as you ever need to be.

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