This week the Scribe’s in-box contained this cry for help:
Since our business is advising clients and rendering advice, don’t you think people should know the difference between “advice” and “advise”? I see these words frequently misused and confused—and it makes me want to scream!
Hoping for advice
I’m delighted to advise my readers regarding this issue.
“Advice” is a noun meaning counsel that one person gives another. “Advise” is a verb—it is the act of giving advice. Here are some examples:
- “Whatever advice you give, be brief.” (Horace)
- “The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.” (Oscar Wilde)
- “Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.” (W. Somerset Maugham)
- I advise you to drink Keystone Light. (Mark Reber)
Here’s another thought about “advise.” It really should not be used as a substitute for “tell,” “say,” or “inform.” Bryan Garner calls such usage a “pomposity to be avoided.” “Advise” should only be used in the context of rendering advice. It shouldn’t be used when you really mean “tell.”
That is all for now …