R.S.V.P. stands for a French phrase, "rpondez, s'il vous plat," which means "please reply." The person sending the invitation would like you to tell him or her whether you accept or decline the invitation.
The request for a response is not one made simply to seek some type of contact with those invited; the purpose is to get an adequate head count for an event that likely provides food and/or beverage or is being held in a location where the number of bodies matters.
The lack of individuals in today's world in responding to invitations that say "RSVP" is astounding and, frankly, quite rude. Hosts of events such as weddings, parties, social events, fundraisers, etc. ask for a response for a reason! If folks don't acknowledge they are coming to an event, they are not counted as attendees. Then, when they show up and there is no seat or not enough food, they often don't see themselves to blame.
But, to blame, they are!
In the modern world of constant contact with everyone from the store clerk to one's hair dresser to best friends, via social media outlets and hand-held devices, the fact that one does not take the time to RSVP when asked is inexcusable. A quick text or Facebook message allows one to say yes or no without the need to actually speak to the host. This is an easy way out when the answer is no.
Often, costs are associated with events to which one is invited. As a sometimes caterer, party sales coordinator and constant organizer of food events, I know the necessity of having an accurate count on people so that the proper amount of food can be purchased. Guessing doesn't work so well in today's world with high food costs and even higher costs for space rental and possible chair rental, etc.
It is simply a matter of common courtesy something that we as self-centered, time consumed individuals don't think about anymore. We need to revert to thinking about it! When someone invites you to an event and requests a response-give it to them!! Even if you cannot come, it is necessary to know that as well.
As the holiday season approaches where you will likely receive invitations, and as we head into a new year with those rascally "resolutions" to be made; let's all take the time to slow down, respond when asked and bring back courtesy and politeness to our world.