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  1. #1
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    The following e-mail refers.

    Not seldomly seen, when someone replies to an e-mail, he introduces with:

    The following e-mail refers.

    (As usually in the thread the reply mail pushes the original e-mail down)

    Also, when replying to a letter, it would be:

    Your letter refers.

    The question:

    Is this usage (xxx refers) grammatical?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    Smile Re: The following e-mail refers.

    It sounds a bit strange to me, like its missing context.

    "The following e-mail refers."

    Refers to what?

    "The following e-mail refers to the money situation in Tokyo".

    Its like saying,

    "The film was about."

    What was the film about?

    "The film was about space exploration."

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: The following e-mail refers.

    Agreed.

  4. #4
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    Re: The following e-mail refers.

    The intended meaning of "The following e-mail refers" is "The following e-mail is referred". But I found the writing as former not rare. I'll try to give some examples later.

    Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Re: The following e-mail refers.

    Some examples of the usage of "xxx refers".

    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/pco/pdfdocs/legislation.pdf
    http://www.wto.org/English/tratop_e/..._rep2000_e.htm
    http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu2/6/cr...&%20prince.pdf

    Search the keyword 'refers", you'll see. Most importantly, they are all formal writing.

    Would anybody please offer some indepth analysis?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Re: The following e-mail refers.

    From the first PDF:

    Proposed regulation
    Owners of vehicles may make an application for exemption or a relaxation from those elements of the licensing criteria where exemption is permitted (Annex A refers). Applications for such concessions will have to be made to the Licensing Authority. The Licensing Authority will consider each case on its own merit.


    and,

    The term “licensing authority” refers to the licensing authority for the time being appointed by Transport for London to exercise duties imposed by the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998. The word “approved” in this annex refers to being approved by the licensing authority.

    The first "refers" is another way of saying "as defined/referenced in Annex A"
    The second and third "refers" is another way of saying "as defined by the Transport of London" and "as defined/referenced by the licensing authority".

    In simple terms...

    MAX: "The grass is green."
    SAM: "Max refers to the grass as being green. But I say the grass is blue!"

    Max states the grass is green, Sam refers to (or references) Max's statement in his sentence, to explain his view that the color of the grass as defined by MAX is incorrect.

    Hope this helps?

    Chris
    http://www.hearseesay.com
    Last edited by Saxonlight; 12-Jul-2006 at 01:37.

  7. #7
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    Re: The following e-mail refers.

    Saxonlight, your reply certainly helps.

    Here let's concentrate on the usage of: <noun> refers. (followed by nothing)

    If "Annex A refers" is another way of saying "as defined/referenced in Annex A", can we say "The following e-mail refers" as the meaning of "as referred in the following e-mail"?

    Seems all the examples I quoted are putting 'refers' in bracket (not a standalone sentence).

    Grateful to hear more opinions.

    Thanks!

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: The following e-mail refers.

    As it's put in emails where the original is at the bottom, isn't it just 're your letter of the 23rd...' adjusted for electronic format? Mind you, given that the original is included, is it necessary?

  9. #9
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    Re: The following e-mail refers.

    tdol, I understand your suggestion to reduce tautology.

    However, how about the case of:

    The e-mail dated 5/7 refers.

    The reply thread may embed many e-mails, and in particular, the one dated 5/7 is referred.

    I know I can write in another way which is clearer, but the key question is whether the usage of "<noun> refers" in such way grammatical.

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: The following e-mail refers.

    I don't use it- I would use refer to. The first example shows that it is used, but I can't say I like it much and won't be adopting it.

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