Posted by: episystechpubs | May 19, 2015

Editor’s Corner: RSVP

As we approach Memorial Day and the ensuing picnic, graduation, and wedding season, several of you have asked me to do an article on the term RSVP. Those of you who have been around my brother and me can vouch that I am no Miss Manners or Emily Post. Still, I’ll tackle this since it is slightly related to language and writing.

RSVP stands for the French phrase “Répondez s’il vous plaît.” This can be directly translated as “Respond, if you please” or “Dude, please let me know if you’re coming to my party so I can buy enough beer.”

Now that you know what it is supposed to mean, let’s look a little deeper into the social understanding of an RSVP. According to Emily Post, author of the book Etiquette, you should reply promptly to an invitation with an RSVP. This means within a few days—and here’s the clincher—you respond whether or not you are attending. If you can’t make it to see your cousin Beavis graduate from college, send a note to him saying you “Decline with regrets,” or something to that effect. If you won’t be attending your mother’s croquet party, write her, email her, or give her a call. And, if you will be attending your older brother’s wedding, don’t assume his bride-to-be will put you on the list automatically. If you aren’t polite enough to respond to big brother and his fiancée while they try to organize a party for 600 of their closest friends, you deserve to be left outside eating leftovers with the wedding singer. Besides, most couples address and stamp the RSVP envelope. All you have to do is fill it out and put it in the mail.

Next time you are lucky enough to be invited to someone’s event, be kind and respond, s’il vous plaît. It’s the polite thing to do.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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