no matter what

discernment tan

Senior Member
Japanese
Following is an official warning to railway passengers.

"For your safety, please keep off the tracks no matter what."

I guess, "no matter what" is too colloquial and awkward as an official sentence.

What do you think?
What if it is "no matter what happens"?
 
  • Oswinw011

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Hi,
    As for its register, this is what I found on the wr:
    no matter what, definitely;
    certainly;
    regardless:
    We'll be there no matter what.

    Is it different from the op? I felt they both used the phrase in the same way. I don't know if that heypresto said "both sound odd"was because it was colloquial or because the meaning was off.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    We'll be there no matter what.

    Is it different from the op?
    Yes, of course it is. "We'll be there no matter what" is what you might say to your friend and, furthermore, is not to be taken literally. Although it would have been difficult to predict Covid-19 a few months ago, it is easy to imagine plausible situations in which the speaker might well not be there; if they had broken their leg, for example. It is not suitable for an official warning.
     

    Oswinw011

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Yes, of course it is. "We'll be there no matter what" is what you might say to your friend and, furthermore, is not to be taken literally. Although it would have been difficult to predict Covid-19 a few months ago, it is easy to imagine plausible situations in which the speaker might well not be there; if they had broken their leg, for example. It is not suitable for an official warning.
    Got it, thanks a lot. After checking the chart about this phrase in COCA, I found its frequency with fiction is not much lower than that with spoken, which prompted me to ask this question. Now everything is clear.
    The broken legal illustration is pretty funny.
     
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