Premise or Premises? There is a difference.

Here is a usage glitch I had not seen before.  It appeared this week in a short business profile in 280living.com:

The design center offers free, on-premise designer consultations and a variety of products to help complete most projects.

Whoops! The word PREMISE (singular) refers to a proposition for arguing a point a writer or speaker wants to make.  You might remember the word from high school or college–being asked to provide a PREMISE (or maybe two or three PREMISES) as a sort of outline to support an essay or speech class assignment.

The word PREMISES (plural) would be the correct choice when referring to a location–land or the buildings on the land.  It can also refer to a building or part of a building, as in "Our designer is located on the PREMISES."  Therefore, the business profile sentence should read this way:

The design center offers free, on-premises designer consultations and a variety of products to help complete most projects.


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2 Responses to “Premise or Premises? There is a difference.”

  1. Eff That says:

    This error is RAMPANT amongst IT companies. Over half of them say they offer "on premise" software, whereas they mean "on premises". This is EMBARRASSING. It's a majorly common error, that invokes much facepalming. 

  2. Randall Stewart says:

    It's 2018 and we've "lost the grammar war" over on-premise vs. on-premises.  (http://www.brianmadden.com/opinion/So-apparently-we-lost-the-grammar-war-and-on-premises-is-just-called-on-premise-now).  Of course, my impression is that so many key players (Microsoft, VMWare, Citrx, Amazon Web Services, etc) have jumped ship because on-premise is trendy.  And that's what irks me. I don't mind losing the grammar wars because language is always evolving.  I do mind companies or individuals using "on-premise"–even when they damn-well-know know it's ungrammatical and potentially confusing–just because it's trendy and "everyone's doing it!"

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