Word Confusion: Pleas versus Please

Posted October 16, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Oh, please, accept my pleas to proofread your manuscript thoroughly before publishing!

Please, I’m…I’m begging you, please…hear my pleas, O writer…

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

If you found this post on “Pleas versus Please” interesting, consider tweeting it to your friends. Subscribe to KD Did It, if you’d like to track this post for future updates.

Return to top

Pleas Please
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

Line drawing of a woman in late 19th century dress pleading for help from a frock-coated man, fingers stroking his chin as he thinks about it

“Image from Page 554”, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Volume 34 December 1886 to May 1887, courtesy of Internet Archive Book Images has no known copyright restrictions, via VisualHunt

If only he will hear her pleas for help.

Black background with a close-up of a man smiling with his hands in a prayerful pose

“Please” by gagilas is under the CC BY-SA license, via VisualHunt.

Part of Grammar:
Plural for the noun plea Adverb;
Verb, intransitive & transitive

Third person present verb: pleases
Past tense or past participle: pleased
Gerund or present participle: pleasing

A request made in an urgent and emotional manner

  • A claim that a circumstance means that one should not be blamed for or should not be forced to do something

[Law] A formal statement by or on behalf of a defendant or prisoner, stating guilt or innocence in response to a charge, offering an allegation of fact, or claiming that a point of law should apply

Used in polite requests, commands, or questions

  • Used to add urgency and emotion to a request
  • Used to agree politely to a request
  • Used in polite or emphatic acceptance of an offer
  • Used to ask someone to stop doing something of which the speaker disapproves
  • Used to express incredulity or irritation

Verb, intransitive:
Give satisfaction or pleasure

  • Be agreeable
  • Wish, like, feel inclined or desire to do something

Verb, transitive:
Cause to feel happy and satisfied

  • Satisfy aesthetically

[Please oneself] Take only one’s own wishes into consideration in deciding how to act or proceed

  • [Dated; it pleases, pleased, etc., someone to do something] It is someone’s choice to do something

To act to the pleasure or satisfaction of

He made a dramatic plea for disarmament.

Her pleas of a headache were not entirely false.

They changed their pleas to not guilty.

Please address letters to the Editor.

What type of fish is this, please?

Please, please come home!

Follow me, if you please.

“May I call you at home?” “Please do.”

“Would you like a drink?” “Yes, please.”

Rita, please — people are looking.

You cleaned out the barn in only two hours? Oh, please!

Will you please stop talking!

Verb, intransitive:
She was quiet and eager to please.

Feel free to wander around as you please.

She has manners that please.

Verb, transitive:
He arranged a fishing trip to please his son.

It pleased him to be seen with someone in the news.

The arrangement of these flowers pleases me.

This is the first time in ages that I can just please myself.

Instead of attending the meeting, it pleased him to go off hunting.

Politicians will never please the public on gun control or immigration.

Adjective: pleadable
Adverb: pleadingly
Noun: pleader, pleading
Verb: plea-bargain
Adjective: half-pleased, pleasable, pleased, pleasing
Adverb: pleasedly, pleasingly
Noun: pleasedness, pleaser
History of the Word:
Middle English, in the sense of lawsuit is from the Old French plait, plaid meaning agreement, discussion, which is from the Latin placitum meaning a decree, a neuter past participle of placere meaning to please. Middle English from the Old French plaisir meaning to please, which is from the Latin placere meaning to please.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!

Return to top

Pinterest Photo Credits:

Please Mr. Postman Album Cover has an unknown author and is courtesy of a record store. It is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Kathy's signature