what does "by return" mean on a form?
October 21, 2004 1:29 PM   Subscribe

We have a paper form that says it needs to be returned "by return". What does this mean?

Is this just fancy-talk for, "stick it in an envelope and post it back to us"? Or is there something special we should do with it? The words "by return" are underlined and in bold, so they must think it's important.

We're in the UK, if that helps.
posted by chrismear to Writing & Language (4 answers total)
I think you've got it. They're probably just trying to stress urgency. "Send it back straight away!".
posted by normy at 1:59 PM on October 21, 2004

Perhaps they meant "by return mail" (or "by return post", since you're in the UK), but inadvertently dropped the last word.

Is it possible for you to call them and verify, before you're supposed to send it off?
posted by Vidiot at 2:03 PM on October 21, 2004

Like Vidiot says, they've abbreviated the idiom "return of post." It's a British expression. It means to send it back as soon as you can.

See the following definition: "by return of post: By the next post in the return direction, ie immediately or as soon as possible."
posted by skylar at 3:09 PM on October 21, 2004

by return = asap.
posted by twine42 at 3:58 PM on October 21, 2004

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