please advise

Discussion in 'English Only' started by epistolario, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. epistolario

    epistolario Senior Member

    I often hear the expression in bold. I doubt if it is natural to you or correct:

    I'm wondering if you're done with the report. Please advise.

    The second sentence means you have to inform me if you're already finished.
  2. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    I agree that this phrase is sometimes heard, usually in business communications. I would not say it is incorrect. "Advise" has the meaning "to inform about a fact or situation" [OED], so it is appropriate. However, it sounds rather terse or "telegraphic" (like a telegram message), so the result is rather unfriendly. We would be unlikely to speak like this, and it doesn't even take any less space than saying: "Please let me know if you are done with the report", or something like that.
  3. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Nitpicking MM's reply, I'd say it is seen, rather than heard. I have never heard anyone say it, but I have seen it in business correspondence, usually telegrams and email messages. It seems perfectly natural, though not especially warm and cozy. My guess is that it originated in the days of telegrams, when one was charged by the word. It makes far less sense today to be so cryptic.
  4. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    I wonder if it also has something to do with business letters often being taken down by a stenographer. The use of terse and set phrases would make dictation easier; the secretary would probably have short hand for entire phrases like this. The dictator could also often say "etc." and the stenographer would know exactly what to put in that particular situation.

    As for "heard", I of course meant, sometimes "heard" in my head when I read it. On a bad day, it may also be lip-read.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
  5. luiscabreragbo27 New Member

    Spanish & English
    I have a question; I'm not a native speaker and I would like to find out if it's proper to say: 'please advice' or 'please advise. So any one out there please advice or advise, LOL. Thank you!

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