The truth about "revert"

If you're a Malaysian, it's likely that you've heard or read the word "revert" to mean "reply". It's widely used in verbal and email communication here in our country.

Here are a few examples.

"This is the proposed plan of action. Kindly revert back to me if you have any further requirements."

"I've taken a look at your email and have added a few more requirements.  Kindly revert with an updated quotation."

"As discussed, here's what you asked for. Please revert with your feedback."

Many people, including myself, have always assumed that the use of "revert" as "reply" is incorrect. Even so, I probably used it in many of my emails back in my corporate days. It was just something that everybody understood to mean "reply".

I never really did much reading into it because I just assumed that it was a Malaysian thing. Until today. Here's what I found after I Googled it.

Do you see number 2? The word "revert" is accepted as "reply" or "respond" in Indian English. I also came across this article in The New York Times, Revert.

It turns out that unbeknownst to most dictionaries, revert has been leading another life in several varieties of world English, notably the kind spoken on the Indian subcontinent. The usage has finally garnered the attention of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, which amended the definition of revert for its newly published eighth edition to include the meaning "to reply."

Apparently, the use of "revert" as "reply" originated from India and has spread to other Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. That's why we use it so much in our emails and why it's found its way into the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary.

So for all those who insist that "revert" does not mean "reply", sorry to burst your bubble - it's not incorrect.

For those who have been happily using "revert" as "reply" all these years - well, you can continue your happy ways, but it's best to use "reply" when you're communicating with non-South Asian people as mentioned by Professor Paul Brians of Washington State here.

It looks like I've learnt something new today. And I stand corrected.

I'll talk to you in our next blog post!

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

 

"Affect" vs "Effect"

It's been several weeks since we've posted a new blog post! The team has been busy with releasing lessons for our online course, Communicate with Confidence, but I've found some time in between to write to you.

In today's post, I'm going to address the difference between "affect" and "effect". When you're speaking, it wouldn't be much of a problem because they sound almost the same.

But when it comes to writing, it's easy to get the two confused.

Continue reading ""Affect" vs "Effect""

Is it "food" or "foods"?

Earlier today (as of writing this post), I posted an update on my Facebook profile. I asked my friends to share their ideas of what I could write about on our blog.

Sure enough, several people replied and one of my friends asked us to write about countable and uncountable nouns. She mentioned that she's heard people say and write "foods", "informations", "seafoods" and it's getting her confused.

Continue reading "Is it "food" or "foods"?"

Improvise vs Improve

Is improvise and improve not the same?!
Sometimes people mistake these two verbs to mean the same thing.

Continue reading "Improvise vs Improve"

What do Disney, My Little Pony and Superhero comics have in common?

english books

I’ve just finished translating a children’s comic book and you might think, “What a fun job. It must be so easy, she can do it while she’s sleeping!”

Well, yes, it’s immensely fun, but just because it sounds "so easy", does that mean I can take this project lightly?

Continue reading "What do Disney, My Little Pony and Superhero comics have in common?"

Sounding polite in difficult situations

sounding polite difficult conversation

In a professional setting, sounding polite is important. But because English is our second language, we may be unaware that some of the sentences we say to people can come across as rude or too direct. Naturally, we would want to maintain good relationships at work with our superiors, colleagues, clients or customers.

So I’m going to share with you several ways that you can sound polite in a professional setting.  The first part talks about how you can ask questions politely. The second is how to ask for help without making it sound like an order. Then we’ll talk about how to point out mistakes and lastly how to express disagreement without offending the other person.

Continue reading "Sounding polite in difficult situations"

Grammar in Real Life: Present Progressive Tense

Many have written in asking about speaking and making grammar mistakes, so I’d like to combine the two in this simple article that invites you to use English in your daily routine. The rule is that you do this out loud and not in your head.

In this exercise, we will be using what is called the Present Progressive tense, which requires you to verbally express an activity that is in progress (is occurring, is happening) right now.

Continue reading "Grammar in Real Life: Present Progressive Tense"

The difference between "deadline" and "dateline"

Do you ever get mixed up between the words "deadline" and "dateline"?

Getting them confused with one another is very common. After all, they do sound very similar. However, their meanings couldn't be any more different.

To find out how they differ, watch this video we made for you!

Do you have any questions you'd like us to address through a video or blog post? Leave a comment below or write to us at info@myenglishmatters.com.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

14th October KL Workshop... Speaking English with Confidence: Igniting The Spark Within

English teacher

The most important attitude achievers have is the can-do attitude. This means thinking, "Yes, it's hard and it's a struggle, but I need to get out of my comfort zone and just do it!"

Much to my delight, that was exactly the kind of attitude my students from China, Kazakhstan and Malaysia had during our powerful speaking workshops we recently completed. How could they NOT have this can-do attitude when they were having so much fun uncovering their potential and raising the bar for themselves? Seeing such keen, motivated students transform through the workshop was absolutely gratifying for me.

Continue reading "14th October KL Workshop... Speaking English with Confidence: Igniting The Spark Within"

We're offering English Lessons and Workshops-live and online near you!

The team at My English Matters have been getting a ton of e-mail, and we're ecstatic to be able to keep in touch with you and answer all your questions. This is also why we've decided that it's time for us to online course Communicate with Confidence on in January. 2018.

Continue reading "We're offering English Lessons and Workshops-live and online near you!"