Another pet peeve: Please stop using the word “revert” in business emails.

Yesterday I received an email that included something like this:

The issue has been raised with [Redacted Company Name], and we will revert before end of business today.

What does that even mean? As stated, it means that by the end of business today, we shall shall change back to the way we were.

This is probably what was intended:

The issue has been raised with [Redacted Company Name], and we will get back to you with further information before end of business today.

Without referring to a dictionary, I can tell you that revert is a verb, meaning to return to a previous state.

Confession time: I’ve used that phrase once myself, knowing it to be wrong, simply because it is used so widely here. I’ve seen emails from various companies using it, and although I am in Johannesburg, a friend in Cape Town once complained about exactly the same thing. Just because a common error is used widely does not make it right, and I haven’t written that myself for some time. I also don’t know if this is a uniquely South African error, or if it is an international one, but whatever… It’s wrong.

So how did “get back to you” get replaced with “revert”? I have no idea, but maybe somebody thought “get back to you” is similar enough to “change back into you”… That’s the only time it would make sense… Like if my fairy godmother godmother changed you into me, and when the spell wears off, I’ll transform back into you. That’s the only context in which revert (to you) actually applies.

Pumpkin

Advertisements

About Jerome

I am a senior C# developer in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a recovering addict, who spent nearly eight years using methamphetamine. I write on my recovery blog about my lessons learned and sometimes give advice to others who have made similar mistakes, often from my viewpoint as an atheist, and I also write some C# programming articles on my programming blog.
This entry was posted in Humour and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Another pet peeve: Please stop using the word “revert” in business emails.

  1. bbnewsab says:

    Sometimes words are as dangerous as weapons. By using words you prime your mind in one way or another.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s