Reply vs Revert

Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 by Debiprasad Sahoo

Wrong: I will revert to your email later.

Right: I will reply to your email later.

Explanation: The most commonplace where the abuse of “revert” is rampant is workplace. In professional communications, especially in India, professionals have a penchant for “revert” when all they want to mean is “reply”. Why do they do so? To show off their vocabulary skills, maybe. Ironically, they end up hurting their own image in the process.

Grammatically speaking, “revert” means restoring something to its original state. So when you say “I’ll revert”, you mean you will go back your previous state. I have no clue what you mean when you say that, but for sure, you don’t mean to go back to your original state. So what’s the correct usage of the word “revert”?

Correct Usage: After spending three months in the alcohol rehab, my brother reverted to his drinking habits again. (This means my brother returned to his old habits of drinking)

In this context, it is highly pointless to say “I’ll revert to your email later”. Technically, nobody can actually revert to an email.

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