I don't like the proliferated use of this word at all.
- Per manager's instruction, no further action is to be taken.
- We should follow the procedures per quality specs QM 101.
This trend of use is very distressing to me. Reading emails from certain regions of the world which use the word this way is rather uncomfortable for me. I have been thinking that this trend of use was discovered, reinvented and then popularised by some egghead in Mountain View CA, who then passed it on to engineers and production planners in certain regions of Asia.
Should we care that the Latin origin of the word means according to or with respect to? So that per cent = per centum = according to a hundred = with respect to a hundred. Does its Latin origins provide us with the liberty to use, abuse or creatively use the word?
One could see that
- 5% would in essence mean = 5 with respect to 100.
- 5 parts per billion = 5 parts with reference to a billion.
Therefore, it is quite legitimate to say
The price of entrance to the concert with respect to each person is 8500 rupees.
Which is a long-winded way to say
The price of entrance to the concert is 8500 rupees per person.
If I could use it that way, then it is certainly perfectly legitimate to say
- I am getting $500 per friend I introduce to work in the company.
- We are planning for four glasses of wine per friend coming to our party.
We may not like the way the word is used, but it is completely legitimate and acceptable.
It is no longer possible to believe that proper and acceptable usage of English can only be defined in the US, Canada or UK.