0

I created a website for users to RSVP to a wedding. One of the questions they have to answer is to indicate how many persons will attend the wedding.

What is the correct wording for a question like this? Currently I have used the following:

  • We will attend with __ (where __ is the blank they have to fill in, e.g. 2)

Is this with preposition the correct one to use? Or is there a better wording convention to ask this? (e.g. We will be attending with)

It sounds a little awkward to me.

Edit: Added a picture to show the intent of the RSVP website RSVP website

6
  • 1
    In your example: replace 'we' with a number, drop 'with'.
    – user98990
    Sep 18, 2015 at 8:52
  • 1
    The quantity of discrete things like people is "number" rather than "amount".
    – smithkm
    Sep 18, 2015 at 8:54
  • I think I would put on the invitation RSVP with numbers attending by 14th June.
    – WS2
    Sep 18, 2015 at 9:03
  • @WS2 I added a picture to show how the RSVP process works: users will access the website and have to fill in the following fields. I need the number of attendees to be able to do validation on it.
    – NielsInc
    Sep 18, 2015 at 9:08
  • But if I receive an invite, I cannot invite whomever I fancy to come with me. The present format gives me this impression. Let's say I am married and have four children, presumably each of us will have received an invitation, it doesn't mean that all four children have to attend the wedding/reception, I could make other arrangements. So perhaps the RSVP should really be asking: Please confirm the number of people attending. A drop menu should appear, a numbered list, wherein I fill the names of the attendees.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 18, 2015 at 9:52

1 Answer 1

1

Besides being clunky, that phrasing is also highly ambiguous. Does "2" mean two people will be attending or that two additional people beyond whoever is filling in the form?

If it's just a blank some people might not even get that the blank is supposed to be a number. You might get answers like "Fred" because they will be bringing Fred along with them.

There's also a slightly annoying aspect to the plural when the responder might well be attending alone.

If you want to avoid these problems, you might consider a plain, ordinary form with labelled entries rather than trying to fit it into running text. It's

Number of attendees: _______

Size of party: _______

Size of group: _______

Number of guests: _______ (This one is questionable as it again could be interpreted as how many guests the responders will bring in addition to themselves)

It's boring but boring is better than misunderstanding.

For an unambiguous phrasing if you are set on the running text, you might try something like this:

Our party will consist of _____ people.

1
  • Great feedback, thanks. I'm afraid I will have to go for the "boring" approach. However, I prefill the number of attendees with the maximum allowed number of attendees, plus it also only allows numeric input.
    – NielsInc
    Sep 18, 2015 at 9:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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