"Per" generalized to "as we discussed"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Feb 9 13:51:47 UTC 2014

"As per" sounds normal to me.

Am uncertain but dubious about "per."


On Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 10:32 PM, Neal Whitman <nwhitman at ameritech.net>wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Neal Whitman <nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET>
> Subject:      "Per" generalized to "as we discussed"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I did some contract work for a government agency recently, and after
> receiving one more paycheck than I expected, discovered that they had
> paid me for December twice. I called up my contact there to tell them of
> the error; they later sent an email summing up our conversation. It
> began like this:
>     Per our conversation on January 27, 2014 you were issued an over
>     payment for services for the month of December 2013.
> I laughed, because it sounded like I had requested and then received an
> overpayment: "per" to me means in this context, "in accordance with what
> we decided in". My wife, though, saw nothing unusual at all, and said
> she used "per" to mean "as we discussed in" all the time. The OED has
> this definition:
>     According to; as stated, indicated, or directed by, as per advice,
>     per instructions, per invoice, per ledger, etc. Usually preceded by
>     /as/.
> The only citation I see that seems to come close to the usage I found
> strange was this one:
>     1771 T. Smollett /Humphry Clinker <javascript:void(0)>/ II. 25
>     This pair of boots, bran new, cost me thirty shillings, as per receipt.
> Does anyone here have thoughts on current usage of "(as) per"?
> Neal
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