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"Please Advise"

edited September 2006 in Everything Else
Normally this sort of thing would be Mr. Period's domain, but I have a bone to pick.

I've noticed that, in my corporate communication, almost every Indian with whom I correspond sprinkles the phrase "please advise" liberally throughout any email they send, spelled at least 1/3 of the time as "please advice." They often use the phrase incorrectly or in strange ways, and almost always end each and every memo with it.

What's the deal? Do English teachers in India have a boner for these two words?

I noticed it first when I started working at IBM. Then I saw it in my senior seminar class. Now I see it every day here at my new job. Non-Indians have been using it with increasing frequency lately as well. It's spreading through the corporate world like a virus.

Interestingly, I've also noticed a distinct correlation between the use of this phrase by non-Indians and the level of incompetence displayed by the user. Never has someone used the phrase in an email or memo that did not also include at least a half-dozen other grammatical, spelling, or stylistic errors. The phrase seems to actually mean "I don't understand the English language, but that sure as hell won't stop me!"

The sad state of communication in the corporate world is bad enough. You should see the utter garbage I receive each and every day from my co-workers. (IBM was no better, nor was RIT). I'm not talking about occasional typos, misplaced prepositions, or other pedantry... I'm talking about emails like the following:
brandon, please advice if our request is feesible. i need to complete it asap
please advise
-name withheld
I weep.


  • Maybe it's the Indian version of, "All your base belong to us"
  • Here at my work, the phrase "please advise" seems to only appear when the user is trying accomplish something that involves details to which the user is completely and utterly clueless.

    Also the Indians here don't seem to understand the concept of e-mail. Oh no, they just walk right up to us and talk to us in a language that is a combination of English plus gibberish, and ask us to fix something even if we are working on something that is far more urgent. I shit you not. Our phones went down a little while ago, and one of those guys came up to me and said that his mouse wasn't working (he has a laptop with a usb mouse). I said that we are working on something and it will have to wait. The fucker followed me around for the next two minutes, then asked when his mouse would be fixed. I turned around and said that getting our phones working was VASTLY more important than his usb mouse and to just used the laptop's touchpad. His response was to look at me like a cow looks at an on coming train. My boss told the guys to go sit down and get back to work and that we would contact him. He then started to argue that he can't work with out a mouse. We then called his manager to get him off our backs. Ass.
  • I had a boss when I worked for a company that would kick your ass if you had the audacity to ask her to advise you. After all, who were you, a mere peon, to ask her, an executive, to advise you on anything? Of course, we also felt that she used to bite the heads off small animals for fun. Even among lawyers, she was a rare breed of A-hole.
  • *Ahem* I present a requested that just came in. This has not been edited in any way.

    I could not able to access Data base when i try to work from home. I am using Verizon router at my Home.
    Even i could not able to open Qqality center, when i try to work from Home."
  • edited September 2006
    I've only seen that quote once while working and it was used properly.
    Post edited by Ametto on
  • edited September 2006
    I don't think this is something endemic to Indians. In my evolution class at school, the professor will open and read all of the anonymous e-mail suggestions he receives from students before beginning his lecture. These are projected from the computer onto the screen at the front of the room, so everyone can see the message. And ohhhh, my god. They ALL look like the sample e-mail you posted. Every single fucking one. It's students like these, who were never taught to give a crap about e-mail spelling and grammar, who grow up to be those "please advise" people.

    It really, really rankles me. People might start being conscientious about it if the professor would reprimand the class a little or embarrass the e-mailer everytime he gets a message like this, but he doesn't. You'd think that as a teacher and scholar, it would annoy him more than anyone else, but no. He's perpetuating the problem >:O
    Post edited by Johannes Uglyfred II on
  • Why is this so annoying?

    Please Advise.

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