Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

Oct 23 2009   12:11PM GMT

Please RSVP?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
We’re planning a festive meal and special surprises for employees and their guests, so _______.
a. RSVP
b. please RSVP


Answer: a

Explanation:
RSVP stands for repondez s’il vous plait, which translates to please reply. So if you include please here, you’re saying “please, please reply.” Unless you’re begging, one please is probably enough.

(Of course, as many administrative staff members know, it sometimes seems like you do have to beg to get a response from employees. But that’s another issue.)

Another tip: It’s okay to say “RSVP by Friday” but don’t say “RSVP in advance.” If we can’t assume that people will respond to invitations before the events in question — rather than after they’re over — it pretty much defeats the purpose.

Grammar Girl offers more examples of annoying redundancies.

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