💌 Please respond … please?

Any English buff will tell you that tautologies — needlessly repeating a word or idea — are generally frowned upon in professional writing. Just use “PIN,” not “PIN number” since PIN means “personal identification number,” and “ATM,” not “ATM machine,” as the acronym stands for “automated teller machine.”

But what about “please RSVP”? It might not be obvious to the average English speaker, but that phrasing is actually redundant. “RSVP” is French for “respond please,” so “please RSVP” technically means “please respond please.”

You can use the acronym "RSVP" (no periods) for all references to the commonly used reply request: "The wedding invites asked guests to RSVP by January 30." Though you don't need to include it in your copy, if you care to know, "RSVP" is short for the French phrase répondez s'il vous plaît.

However, English speakers have pretty much turned “RSVP” into a verb, as in, “Did you RSVP to their dinner yet?” So at the risk of sounding desperate or just extra polite this holiday season, we think “please RSVP” is just fine. But save yourself the space and forgo the periods in this abbreviation.

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