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I'm looking for a formal synonym for the phrase and counting on your help. I was wondering about "request" like in "The guests are requested to wear appropriate attire.", but it doesn't sound good for me somehow. It's probably correct, but is it formal?

closed as primarily opinion-based by tchrist, Drew, andy256, Ellie Kesselman, Hellion Jan 6 '15 at 21:12

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    It certainly is. If given as a hedged instruction, the 'The' would be dropped. A blunter version is Guests are required to wear appropriate attire. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 31 '14 at 10:57
  • Unfamiliar registers almost always sound 'off' in one way or another – 'incorrect', 'non-standard', stuffy, slang .... You just have to get used to the different standards in each register and set your 'acceptability monitor' accordingly. And remember to use the sensible register each time. And try to avoid legalese. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 31 '14 at 11:37
  • You know, in this particular case, the use of formal language was rather advisable. I had fifty different sentences full of common words, phrasal verbs and slang expressions, and the task was to turn them into official, business language. Generally, I don't have problems with differentiating between a formal and an informal register, but it seems tiredness got the upper hand and stopped my clear thinking today. Besides, it's far easier to ask experts on this website :D than to rack my own brains. – ernest58 Dec 31 '14 at 13:07
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  • "Guests are requested to wear appropriate attire" sounds formal and correct.

Another possibility would be:

  • "Guests are expected to wear appropriate attire"

Or, if you really want to hedge your bets and be more straightforward, Edwin Ashworth's suggestion fits best.

  • "Guests are required to wear appropriate atire"

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