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The colleagues in my office often send email starting with "Please kindly". Are the two phrases a bit redundant?

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16  
I just want to point out that I disagree with the implicit assumption here that there is something inherently wrong with redundancy. –  nohat Aug 24 '10 at 18:27
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While the opening Please kindly isn't wrong, per se, it's frequently overused by non-native speakers and Indian English speakers, in my experience. Something to keep in mind. –  JSBձոգչ Apr 4 '11 at 19:21
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Half the emails in my email spam folder start with "please kindly". –  Brendon Jul 11 '11 at 23:47
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See also english.stackexchange.com/questions/14478/… –  wfaulk Aug 17 '11 at 3:06

5 Answers 5

Strictly speaking, "please" and "kindly" do serve separate purposes. I can demand that you kindly do a certain task:

Kindly apologize to your mother

The intent is to dictate how you should apologize. Prepending "please" is me politely asking you to do something:

Please apologize to your mother

Combining them signifies that I am being polite and you should be polite:

Please kindly apologize to your mother

In the context of office chatter, I would interpret the original intent of the phrase to mean, "I am asking nicely; don't give me attitude." As it is now bordering on a cliché, I highly doubt anyone is putting much thought into the phrase or its meaning and they are simply being polite.

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Yes, they are redundant, as in this context, they mean essentially the same thing.

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Both the adverbs are used in polite requests, and one of the meanings of kindly is please.

In a sentence like "please kindly send me a copy of your paperwork," please and kindly are redundant.

In a sentence like "will you kindly sign the enclosed copy of this letter," kindly is often used ironically.

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In this case, kindly is an intensifier. It's similar in use to very in the phrase I am very disappointed in you.

Sure it's redundant, sure it's unnecessary, but it signifies a slightly higher tone of politeness.

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What would you prefer me to ask you? Please, would you kindly pass me the magazine, or pass me the magazine.

The please, kindly adds a layer of "politeness" (for want of a better word), and, although effectively it is redundant, it changes the sentence from a request to an order.

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Out of those options the first one, obviously, but is there really any difference between Please kindly pass me the magazine and Please pass me the magazine (which I think is the point of this question) –  Jonik Aug 24 '10 at 14:14
    
@Jonik There is a slight difference in tone, just as there is a slight difference between I am disappointed in you and I am very disappointed in you. –  ghoppe Jul 11 '11 at 21:07

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