English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I wrote the following sentence:

We will proceed with the registration after the remaining balance is settled.

Somehow, I find that using the word settled in this sentence sounds a bit rude. This is especially true if we consider that I'm offering something in my previous sentence. I don't want to sound too demanding or make the reader feel bound to do anything.

I was thinking to replace settled with made. But still, made doesn't sound the best possible word.

What are the expressions that could be used in a sentence like this to say that an amount is to be paid and still sound gentle?

share|improve this question

closed as not constructive by Matt E. Эллен, JSBձոգչ, kiamlaluno, Mitch, Daniel Jul 20 '12 at 17:52

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I don't mean to be rude, but this question seems to be open to the "bike shed question" mentality that Stack Exchange eschews. That would make this question not constructive. – Matt E. Эллен Jul 6 '12 at 11:56
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I think you may want to change the entire sentence to read something like We want to register you as soon as possible. Please help us by paying the remaining balance.

share|improve this answer
Really good solution. I was writing up an answer but decided I preferred your version. – Translator1983 Jul 6 '12 at 11:32
For me, "paying the remaining balance" is less gentle than "the remaining balance is settled". – Schroedingers Cat Jul 6 '12 at 11:43

Please, please, please. There is nothing wrong with using the word settled there. Barrie's answer is merely a different way of stating a perfectly good sentence.

From NOAD:

settle 1
verb 1 [ with obj. ] resolve or reach an agreement about (an argument or problem): every effort was made to settle the dispute.
• end (a legal dispute) by mutual agreement: the matter was settled out of court | [ no obj. ] : he sued for libel and then settled out of court.
• determine; decide on: exactly what goes into the legislation has not been settled | [ no obj. ] : they had not yet settled on a date for the wedding.
pay (a debt or account): his bill was settled by charge card | [ no obj. ] : I settled up with your brother for my board and lodging.

[Emphasis my own.] It is clear that settle is used in the matter of debts. End of story.

Well, not entirely the end of the story. Settled is actually a less direct way of saying paid. So it is, in fact, the milder way of putting the matter. Your fourth or fifth dunning letter will contain phrases like "until this bill is paid" or "pay this amount now!" and so forth.

share|improve this answer
There is obviously nothing wrong, but nonetheless it sounds rather rude as OP stated... – Pacerier Mar 23 '14 at 18:39
@Pacerier: I disagree that it sounds rude. I think you're confusing the "pay a debt" sense with the "resolve or reach an agreement about (an argument or problem)" sense. – Robusto Mar 23 '14 at 19:48
Apparently we couldn't get everyone to agree on a particular nuance, but if a signifiant population does feel that it sounds rude, isn't that sufficient to say that it does "sound rude"? – Pacerier Mar 24 '14 at 1:56
@Pacerier: By all means, fund a study. But a few random people going one way or the other does not a sample make. – Robusto Mar 24 '14 at 2:02

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.