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  1. #1
    hhtt21 is offline Key Member
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    Doctor's orders

    Hi, in the sentence "I will comply with the doctor's orders." the phrase "doctor's orders" seems strange to me because, I think, order imply some pressure or sanction. It should be instruction I think. What do you think about it?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Doctor's orders

    Quote Originally Posted by hhtt21 View Post
    Hi, in the sentence "I will comply with the doctor's orders." the phrase "doctor's orders" seems strange to me because, I think, order imply some pressure or sanction. It should be instruction I think. What do you think about it?

    Thank you.
    Doctor's orders is an old and common expression, often used as an excuse. Sorry, I can't help carry your books. Doctor's orders! The person offering the excuse wants to emphasize his or her lack of control -- I can't do this because someone in authority ordered​ me not to.
    Last edited by GoesStation; 28-Jul-2016 at 20:24. Reason: To add emphasis.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Doctor's orders

    It's true, however, that a doctor cannot order you to do anything. He/she can strongly advise you to do (or not to do) something but whether you choose to comply is entirely up to you.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. #4
    hhtt21 is offline Key Member
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    Re: Doctor's orders

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    It's true, however, that a doctor cannot order you to do anything. He/she can strongly advise you to do (or not to do) something but whether you choose to comply is entirely up to you.
    This is very explanatory, then it is "doctor's advices". But this is a little different than GoesStation's answer.

    Thank you.

  5. #5
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Doctor's orders

    "Doctor's orders" is a set phrase. Nothing wrong with it. And "advice" is not countable in this use.

  6. #6
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Doctor's orders

    If you're refusing a cigarette, then doctor's orders works better than doctor's advice as it removes the idea of choice from the person saying no as they are being forced to do this. You can always ignore advice, but not orders, so using orders tells the person offering the cigarette not to do so again.

  7. #7
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Doctor's orders

    Re-opening

  8. #8
    hhtt21 is offline Key Member
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    Re: Doctor's orders

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    If you're refusing a cigarette, then doctor's orders works better than doctor's advice as it removes the idea of choice from the person saying no as they are being forced to do this. You can always ignore advice, but not orders, so using orders tells the person offering the cigarette not to do so again.
    Would you explain the part "the person offering the cigarette not to do so"? Isn't it person using the cigarette not to do so?

    Thank you

  9. #9
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Doctor's orders

    No. If you refuse a cigarette by saying "No. Doctor's orders!", the implication is that you do not want to be offered another cigarette. You are asking/telling the person offering you the cigarette not to do so again (not to offer you another cigarette). It would actually be very inconsiderate of that person to offer you another one after they've been told that your doctor has told you not to smoke.

    If you were offered a cigarette and said "Not right now, thanks", it would be perfectly reasonable for the person to offer you another one at some point in the future.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  10. #10
    Skrej's Avatar
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    Re: Doctor's orders

    Also, doctors do write actual orders in hospitals, which can consist of ordering (requesting) certain tests or prescribing set care instructions for hospitalized patients that nurses follow. By extension, the term also applies to self-care instructions for outpatients.


    Note too, the definition of 'order' is:

    "an authoritative command, direction, or instruction."
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

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