Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default The use of 'kindly'

    Some people use 'kindly' in their requests with the meaning of 'Would you be kind enough to' or 'Please'.

    I understand their polite intention, but to me kindly has authoritarian or impatient overtones. The Oxford ALD says that the word is "used to ask or tell sb to do sth, especially when you are annoyed", so I am not alone in feeling a negative sense.

    However, I hear/see it so often that I am beginning to wonder if my feeling is outdated. I'd be interested to read what other native speakers feel about this.

  2. #2
    riquecohen's Avatar
    riquecohen is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    5,721
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The use of 'kindly'

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Some people use 'kindly' in their requests with the meaning of 'Would you be kind enough to' or 'Please'.

    I understand their polite intention, but to me kindly has authoritarian or impatient overtones. The Oxford ALD says that the word is "used to ask or tell sb to do sth, especially when you are annoyed", so I am not alone in feeling a negative sense.

    However, I hear/see it so often that I am beginning to wonder if my feeling is outdated. I'd be interested to read what other native speakers feel about this.
    I agree. In addition to the overtones you ascribe to it, I would add condescending.

  3. #3
    MrRubik is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    19
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The use of 'kindly'

    I find that it's normally used by people in a subservient (don't know if that's exactly the word I mean) position in a formal setting where they feel obliged to use some kind of pleasantry even though they don't want to. I always find it very disingenuous, it seems the word of choice for people who don't want to be pleasant but feel they have to.

    Subservient I meant like secretaries and people who work in customer services, there's probably a far better word to describe this relationship!

  4. #4
    riquecohen's Avatar
    riquecohen is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    5,721
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The use of 'kindly'

    Quote Originally Posted by MrRubik View Post

    Subservient I meant like secretaries and people who work in customer services, there's probably a far better word to describe this relationship!
    Subordinate?

  5. #5
    MrRubik is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    19
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The use of 'kindly'

    Quote Originally Posted by riquecohen View Post
    Subordinate?
    Um....I avoided that word. I wanted a word that had no connotations of inferiority and just described the relationship between customer/client and someone working in a position where there is an obligation to be hospitable.

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17,392
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: The use of 'kindly'

    The phrase "Kindly do the needful" seems to be a standard component of a request for assistance written in Indian English.

    I would love to hear from 2010 or another native speaker of Indian English on this.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

Similar Threads

  1. when to use took / taken Kindly tell....
    By new2grammar in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 19-Jan-2009, 17:38
  2. [Grammar] kindly help
    By miclys94 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 25-Jul-2008, 06:21
  3. Kindly help
    By new2grammar in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-Jun-2008, 13:07
  4. Kindly help me with this!
    By new2grammar in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-May-2008, 20:10
  5. kindly
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 29-Apr-2004, 16:38

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •