Author Topic: RSVP is a yes-no proposition  (Read 3397 times)

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Marbles

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RSVP is a yes-no proposition
« on: April 12, 2012, 02:54:36 AM »
I'm hosting a baby shower in a few weeks and the responses are slowly coming in. The mom-to-be has asked me to invite family, friends, and colleagues, so I only know a small portion of the invited guests.

I've had several messages on my answering machine that have left me scratching my head. More than one person has called and left messages on my machine but not actually give a response. It sounds like "Hi, this is X calling to RSVP for Y's shower. Okay... bye." ???  I'm assuming that that these "RSVPs" are positive, but I'm still a bit boggled. I'm glad folks are calling, but I wish they'd leave a phone number so I could confirm what they really mean. Normally, I write out "please let me know whether you can come", but this time I said "please RSVP..." on the invitation. I guess I'll go back to that.

Is this something others have run across?

NyaChan

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Re: RSVP is a yes-no proposition
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 03:57:00 AM »
They are trying to RSVP that they will attend.

There is a growing trend that people will RSVP in the positive only.  I think this comes from people misunderstanding or not knowing what the term RSVP is really for - it asks for a response, either positive or negative.  However, these days I've noticed even amongst closer acquaintances that people will let me know when they are planning on showing up, but I have to chase them down if I want to confirm that they aren't coming.

Edited to remove extra word
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 02:37:22 PM by NyaChan »

QueenofAllThings

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Re: RSVP is a yes-no proposition
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2012, 07:12:44 AM »
POD to that. Some folks believe that 'RSVP' translates to "Respond in the positive", so I'd assume those folks are coming to the shower. Additionally, some people find it awkward to respond to a stranger, which might explain the stumbling on the phone.

lowspark

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Re: RSVP is a yes-no proposition
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2012, 02:33:49 PM »
Yes. Many people believe that saying "I'm calling to RSVP for the shower" = "I'm coming". If they were declining, they would likely have said so specifically.

RSVP translates to "Reply if you please", or more in the vernacular, Please Reply. Most people don't really understand that I guess. So, Please RSVP is redundant, and "I'm calling to RSVP" really just means, "I'm calling to please reply" which of course, doesn't mean what they intend.

gellchom

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Re: RSVP is a yes-no proposition
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 03:28:03 PM »
Yes. Many people believe that saying "I'm calling to RSVP for the shower" = "I'm coming". If they were declining, they would likely have said so specifically.

RSVP translates to "Reply if you please", or more in the vernacular, Please Reply. Most people don't really understand that I guess. So, Please RSVP is redundant, and "I'm calling to RSVP" really just means, "I'm calling to please reply" which of course, doesn't mean what they intend.

You made me laugh, lowspark!

I've always thought using "RSVP" as a verb meaning "replying" or "accepting" sounded very silly.  But language develops, doesn't it?  So I guess it's now a word. 

I aresveepee
You aresveepee
She aresveepees
We aresveepee
They aresveepee
I will aresveepee
I aresveepeed
I am aresveepeeing

 :)

Of course, that doesn't settle whether it means "reply" or "accept."  But as the OP's question shows, it seems to mean the latter.  Hard to imagine anyone leaving a message like that when she means she is declining.

And it is true that for some reason it's hard to be articulate when leaving a message.

Mikayla

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Re: RSVP is a yes-no proposition
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2012, 12:52:11 PM »
Yes. Many people believe that saying "I'm calling to RSVP for the shower" = "I'm coming". If they were declining, they would likely have said so specifically.

RSVP translates to "Reply if you please", or more in the vernacular, Please Reply. Most people don't really understand that I guess. So, Please RSVP is redundant, and "I'm calling to RSVP" really just means, "I'm calling to please reply" which of course, doesn't mean what they intend.

It took me forever to figure that out!  I used it as a verb ("Nobody is rsvp-ing to my wedding"). 

I agree with others that this should be taken as a yes.

WillyNilly

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Re: RSVP is a yes-no proposition
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 09:44:29 AM »
I think one of the problems is the origin and the current.

Originally, in French, RSVP meant "please reply".  But language is a living thing and it changes and evolves with usage.  RSVP is not an English phrase/acronym - full stop.  So anyone using it in an English language country, on an English language invitation, to English speakers and expecting a strict French interpretation of it, is actually in my opinion the one using it incorrectly. 

In the US "RSVP" actually can be used socially as a verb to RSVP: "I RSVP'ed for both of us dear, we're going."  "Jane never RSVP'ed, should I call her?" "Oh darn! I still need to RSVP!"  And as often as not its used to mean a positive reply.  Commercial/marketing events are often "RSVP only" which means tons of invites were issued, or maybe even a public ad was posted by way of an invitation but only people who reply can attend: Free Community Cooking Demonstration this Saturday, space is limited, RSVP only.