“Please revert.” – really??

my first rant of 2010… actually been holding off this post for a while… but alas! I must put it out there…

so what’s irritating me? the use of the word “revert” in many many emails (To/Cc) I receive.

Before reading furthur, I would like you to sit back and think… what do you think the meaning of the word “revert” is?

Do you think that “revert” has a meaning like… “get back to”… as in like “reply”, “respond”?

Have you seen, or even written sentences similar to… “Please revert to me once you have a decision.” ?

Now, please read up on the definitions of the word “revert” as found by Google, here.

Welcome back, did you find any of the definitions there that meant “respond”, or anything similar?


Well, “revert” really means something like “undo”, “roll back”, “to restore back to a previous state”.

It DOES NOT MEAN, “reply” or any way near the vicinity of the word.

Now, if I’ve made you aware what “revert” means… think back on the sentences where the word has been misused… don’t they seem strange?

I work in the IT industry, and frequently we encounter problems and they’ll need to be fixed… so the person who’s tasked to make the necessary fixes sends you a mail to tell you that the problem will be worked on and it ends off… “I’ll revert once the problem has been resolved.”

Now, doesn’t it sound funny? If you read the sentence to the true meaning of “revert”… it probably could be read that this person is trying to be funny… yes, the problem will be worked on… but once it’s fixed, it will be “reverted”. LOL!!

Well, hope you’ve learnt something new today, good for the new year.

4 thoughts on ““Please revert.” – really??

  1. Jacky

    have seen it being used daily too…so is it something misused just here in singapore or it’s a common problem in all english speaking countries?

    btw, 乔迁之喜!

  2. varun

    As far as i know, the origin of this usage is Indian-English. So if you look at it from a British or American perspective, you will find it odd.

    Another example would be the word pre-pone. No such word actually exists in American or British English but it is used extensively in Indian English.

    So please revert in case you have any other questions 🙂


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