Do The Needful

Do The Needful

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Doing the Needful:

International Technical support teams often receive written or emailed requests from foreign companies to “Do the needful”. More often than not, this phrase is the final statement in a failure description which includes none of the information required to actually understand the problem, and which does not explain precisely what their expectations are relating to their request. It has become a humorous catch phrase which suggests the requester has provided completely useless information, and has not requested a specific action, but has probably submitted the issue as a high priority problem. In most circumstances, they will also include a bad phone number (or a number to a phone where they cannot hear you talking), and will not respond to your emails for several days.

“Please do the needful”, Kindly do the needful", and “Do the needful” have become the support person’s equivalent of “Oh, good, it’s time to pull at my hair and scream”…

Example:

Hello team, Some of the links on the site are working. We have tested others not with satisfaction. There are other links as well. This is Priority High. Please do the needful and confirm also the site. Thanks

Origin:

“Do the needful” is an archaic expression which means “do that which is necessary”, with the respectful implication that the other party is trusted to understand what needs doing without being given detailed instruction.

The expression is currently used mainly in South Asian English (Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan). The expression was current in both British and American English well into the early 20th century. In later years it was sometimes used as a parody example of contemporary South Asian English.

Reference Links:

• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_the_needful
• http://www.jeremygilby.com/?p=1043
• http://barnson.org/node/571
• http://shop.cafepress.com/do-the-needful
• http://dotheneedful.jerseyslogans.com/
• http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=do%20the%20needful
• http://dotheneedful.ws/
• http://www.zazzle.com/kindly_do_the_needful_tee_shirts-235781210265926253
• http://thedramakingscourt.blogspot.com/2007/10/kindly-do-needful.html
• http://www.englishforums.com/English/RequiredModernSentence/lppn/post.htm
• http://www.cnngo.com/mumbai/life/10-indianisms-652344
• http://www.proz.com/kudoz/english/linguistics/1201660-kindly_versus_please.html
• http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1305271
• http://vaniquotes.org/wiki/Do_the_needful_(Letters,1947_-1972)
• http://lordbaddkitty.com/2012/08/31/do-the-needful/

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