Submitted by Hairy Scot  •  May 12, 2012

“As per ....”?

I have noticed that here in NZ a lot of people use the phrases “as per usual” and “as per normal” in everyday speech. In the UK I only ever heard these phrases used as a form of sarcastic emphasis. I am sure there are a number of “as per ..” phrases in which the “per” does not seem redundant, such as “as per instructions”, but even that seems cumbersome when copmared with “as instructed”.

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We hear this a lot in the US too. I think it's business-speak leaking into general speech. As with most corporate jargon, there is almost always a better phrase available.

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I have no problem with "per" meaning "according to" or "for each", etc. It's the "as" that bothers me. In nearly every case, "as per" can be replaced by simply "per". "As per" is worse than redundant. It's actually ungrammatical. I can put widget A into slot B "per the instructions" or "as the instructions INDICATE", but I can't do it "as per the instructions". What's next, "like per"?

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'Per' is OK in itself, but usually used incorrectly.
See also 'via'.
Often indicates sloppy thinking, and the phrase that includes it could sometimes be written or spoken more clearly and succinctly using a different construction.
Sometimes used to make the statement sound more important, give it more gravitas. Usually indicates lack of proper thought to me!

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I agree: "Sometimes used to make the statement sound more important, give it more gravitas. Usually indicates lack of proper thought to me!",

but my sentence for it is that people who use "as per" are trying to sound like "chrome domes".

Definition: "Chrome dome" - someone who has an overinflated opinion of his own importance. I think that "chrome dome" originally referred to certain generals in the Air Force and admirals in the Navy because of the fancy hats that they wear -- with lots of metallic decorations. Oh, General MacArthur of the U.S. Army and Field Marshall Montgomery of the British Army definitely were chrome domes, too.

The phrase "chrome dome" has spread also to senators, members of the cabinet (American, British, Canadian, etc.), high-ranking professors at universities, et cetera.
As for senators, note that there are Federal senates in the United States, Canada, Australia, and probably more countries. Hence, senators abound.
In the United States, nearly all of the state governments have senates, too, and some of the senates in the large states have chrome domes, too: California, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Nebraska has a unicameral legislature (unique!), and all of its members are senators.

D.A.W.

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I believe that I have heard Australians overusing "as per", also.
In the case of "as per", overusing means using it at all!
D.A.W.

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"As per" is also used by would-be chrome domes who do not know "according to" or "considering", such as in
"according to our firm plans" and "considering our well-made plans".

To people who use "as per plan", that has the so-called "advantage" of being vague -- saying nothing about whose plan or what kind of a plan.

Remember that there are millions and millions of people who, given the choice of something specific or something vague, will choose the vague statement every time.

In contrast, I had English teachers in high school who told us, "be specific," "be specific," "be specific." That is very wise advice for writing or speaking.
D.A.W.

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Few if any of the comments on this appear to take into account the flexibility and variation of the English language, with most contributors taking a prescriptive, if not disdainful and opinionated stance. As a translator, collaborator and editor for several professional and scientific publications, nowadays I am quite happy to see "as per" used as a synonym for "acording to" in most cases and consider it pecatta minuta.

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@neilmac - 'with most contributors taking a prescriptive, if not disdainful and opinionated stance' - which is pretty well par for the course on PITE. Or should I have said - as per usual? There's none so disdainful as a pedant in full flight. Summed up beautifully by Stephen Fry here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7E-aoXLZGY

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"As per" makes me need "aspirin". It is redundant, as much as any two words can mean the same thing. As such, it is incorrect, grammatically. Like "irregardless", "unthaw" and "I could care less/I couldn't care less", it is a well-used bastardization. Soon it will be in the dictionary, I'm sure (sigh!). Virtually every carpenter refers to "lineal feet", which could be the length of a building, but not the # of feet of framing lumber-thats "linear" feet. Or maybe your feet are passed down from your mother, I don't know.

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Both Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage and the New Fowler's refer to "as per" as a compound preposition (like "as for" or apart from"), so whatever its faults, I don't think you can really call it ungrammatical. Nor does any redundancy make it ungrammatical. Redundancy is a style issue; it has nothing to do with grammar.

To go back to the original question, "as per usual" is an established idiom in British English, having been used by writers such as W.S.Gilbert (of Gilbert and Sullivan fame), James Joyce and Julian Barnes. I wouldn't say it's so much sarcastic as humorous. New Fowler's calls it slang, Oxford and Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionaries lists it as an informal idiom (along with "as per usual"), and Oxford Concise simply as a phrase. It may involve a bit of redundancy, but hey, life's too short to worry about redundancy in informal idiomatic speech.

I think we sometimes also shorten it to "as per" with the "usual" being understood. "He's late again!" As per!" - New Fowler's adds that 'humorous variants abound, e.g. "She knew better, didn't she? As per always" '

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