as per usual

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Thu May 24 00:52:56 UTC 2007

Here's another instance of a preferred stock phrase resulting in a
locution that is longer than another common and available one: "as
per usual," as in an email I was CCed on today, which said
"Catherine: as per usual please choose photos."

An argument can be made that there is a different nuance, but in this
instance (as, I think, in many) "as usual" can easily be substituted,
so this seems to be evidence of a preference for the "as per"
collocation. I wonder whether "as usual" might also be less desirable
for some users to be used due to a perceived negative tone.

I don't have the sense that this is seen as more formal or more
proper, but the "as per" does seem to be more current in business
usage (that's just an impression, however -- I don't have numbers to
back it up), so it could be associated with the register. As well,
the same user might use "as usual" in a narrative and reserve "as per
usual" for requests -- I wonder if I can elicit this from him...

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society -

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