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Fall out of love with the verb revert.

By Chinua Asuzu



Here are the three standard senses of the verb revert: “(1) to return to a former state, condition, or posture; (2) to go back in thought, speech, or action; or (3) (of property) to return to the former owner or to that owner’s heirs.” Garner’s Modern English Usage, 5th ed., 954.

The verb has other nuances. Most other senses are substandard, even if you find them in descriptivist dictionaries.

Revert never means “to get back to (someone) with a reaction, reply, or response.”

Stop using revert to mean “get back to,” “reply,” or “respond.”

Revert is a false synonym for reply.

If you mean reply, say “reply.” If you mean get back to, say “get back to.”

Even when used correctly in any of the three senses listed in the first paragraph, revert never takes the superfluous word “back” the sense of which is included in the verb itself. So revert back is sinful English.

Fall out of love with the verb revert.

Fall out of love with the verb revert.

Fall out of love with the verb revert.

Afam Osigwe, SAN, Attends the 20th Gani Fawehinmi Annual Lecture and Extends Warm Wishes to the NBA Ikeja Branch.

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