Reserve an appointment?

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New Member
Right now, I'm proofreading a website for my client and there was one thing that has me in a bind.

Do you think "Appointment Reservation" (or any of its variants such as "reserving appointments", etc) is a valid term?

This is why I ask:

One of the services featured in this webpage is its reservation feature. Basically, it allows on-line reservation for meetings and such.

The problem is that currently, the feature is referred to as "Appointment Reservation". Not only is the menu titled as thus, there's mention of "reserving appointments" and whatnot all throughout the website.

It's my understanding that this phrase is incorrect, since the word Appointment, as far as I am aware, already implies reservation. 1)

On the other hand, this phrase pops up too many times in too many places . Sometimes in the HTML itself, sometimes in images, sometimes in database, etc. So it would take a lot of effort to fix it all.

So specifically, I want to ask you this:

1. Am I right in assuming 1)?
2. If I am.. does the term "appointment reservation" seem normal enough to you when you see it? On an official website?
3. ...or is this a gross misuse of the English language that MUST be corrected in order for it to be taken seriously.

I can't, for the life of me, accurately judge how serious this is, and I don't have any native English speaker around me to ask. To me, it seemed all right in the beginning, but the more I think about it, the more I'm distracted by it. I would like to fix it, but for me to suggest it would take something that was seriously wrong.

That.. was probably unnecessarly long. I apologize. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    I would say "book/make a reservation" or "make an appointment". I wouldn't reserve an appointment. I would reserve a time for an appointment.

    It's not so odd that I would expect an entire website to get reworked for it, but it's not what I would expect. I don't think it's a "gross misuse". :)

    Tower of Babel

    Senior Member
    USA (American English)
    Hello BlackWizard,

    In American English usage, the normal wording would be "make an appointment."

    However, I would not consider "appointment reservation" to be a serious error, because the meaning is still clear, even if the wording is not the standard usage of a native English speaker.

    It might be nice to change the wording if it occurred on only one webpage, but since there are many instances, don't worry. This is a minor error. :)


    New Member
    Thanks for the reply. Yes, I know I should change it to Make an appointment or Reserve a visit or something along those lines... But I wasn't quite sure if this was serious enough to justify having to bother at least 3 people to sort through ungodly amount of code / images files to check for all instance of it and change the wording accordingly.

    Truth be told, this is much harder than I had originally expected, since I have to make judgement calls on what errors are minor enough that I can let it slide. (because there's a deadline we need to meet - can't fix everything)

    Again, thanks for your help.


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Reserve an appointment sounds odd. I would find book an appointment perfectly OK, even though book carries more or less the same meaning as reserve.

    About the website?
    If this expression is as widespread as you say, I would leave it as it is. Some users might be a little surprised at first, others won't notice, and all will know exactly what it means.


    Senior Member
    New Zealand English and Mandarin Chinese
    If you have to bother 3 people to make the changes, then don't do it. It's understandable enough.

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I don't think the writer who drafted that term, reserve and appoinment, was concerned about the grammar. He wanted to say something that sounded businesslike. Reserve and appointment are both terms you will hear in something
    involving business relations. I would wager that the audience where the web site
    is directed was one that might respond better to something that sounded as if
    it had some class.

    It is a term much like the use that companies make of the term "service." It very questionalble to me that many companies who claim to give service actually give it.
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