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Pedants' corner

May you

4 replies

MinnieMountain · 21/10/2022 14:13

A colleague has started saying “may you” in correspondence; as in “Please may you send me this thing.”
I’m sure he thinks he’s being very polite (he has form for incorrectly using “myself”) but I’m now wondering if that’s ever grammatically correct in the context he’s using it.

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NotLovingWFH · 21/10/2022 14:34

I don’t know if it’s correct but I have colleagues that use this too and it just doesn’t read right to me. Please would you send sounds so much better than please may you send. That sounds like you’re giving them permission rather than asking them to do something.

Miriam101 · 21/10/2022 14:43

No! It's not correct and is incredibly annoying!

Aphidsandhoneybees · 21/10/2022 14:57

I’m no expert but to me the word may means to allow . Eg. “May I send you this?” is the correct use of may . But “please may you send me this thing” surely would mean “please can you be allowed to send me this thing”. This certainly makes no sense in this context because he’s asking you to do something, not to be allowed to do something.

MinnieMountain · 21/10/2022 15:42

That’s what I thought.
I look at his files to help with his training on more complex work. He’s asking third parties in this way.
It’s a shame I’m not allowed to comment on his grammar.

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