Do the needful
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"Do the needful" is an expression which means "do that which is necessary", with the respectful implication that the other party is trusted to understand what needs doing without being given detailed instruction. The phrase is common in Indian English. There has been recent interest in the phrase especially in the context of globalized technology.
The Oxford English Dictionary lists examples of usage from 1709 (Richard Steele in the Tatler), 1771 (Samuel Foote in Maid of Bath), 1821 (Maria Edgeworth in a letter), 1831 (Walter Scott in his journal), 1929 (I. Colvin in his Life of Dyer), and 1992 (Jeff Torrington in Swing Hammer Swing!), the last likely used humorously.
- Daniel DMello (13 June 2011). "How to fix grammatically insane phrases found in common Indian English". Retrieved 22 April 2014.
- Oxford English Dictionary, Draft Revision, December 2008: "needful" (adj. and n.)[dead link]
- The New York Times lists many examples of contemporary literal usage from its own pages mainly between 1860 and 1930
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