Notice, by definition, is given in advance, isn’t it? If that’s true, is the expression “advance notice” redundant? Or worse, is it inaccurate? These questions need answers!
According to BusinessDictionary.com, advance notice alerts a future event or obligation. For instance, you might receive information regarding the due date of a bill or an arrival date of an online order. Here are some real-life illustrations of this phrase:
The city of Seattle, Washington is considering a “secure scheduling” law for the retail and food-service industries, whose workers have sometimes suffered from irregular and variable work hours, little advance notice of their work schedules, and not enough hours to make a proper living.
The [Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act aka WARN] sought to protect affected persons from the effects of significant employment loss by mandating covered employers to deliver advance notice of plant shut downs or large-scale layoffs to affected employees and local residents.
Notice, by itself, is defined as an announcement, information, or a warning given in advance of an occasion or event. It refers also to the notification of the end of a deal or contract. You remove “advance” from the quotes above and still get the sense of the paragraph, right? Most would think so. They find advance notice unnecessarily verbose or too wordy. DailyWritingTips.com incorporated it into their list of fifty repetitious expressions to avoid, along with related terms: “Notices, notifications, warnings, and cautions are all, by their nature, acts that transpire before some event, so using such terms with advance is superfluous.”
You often see “advanced” instead of “advance” in this phrase. Do writers use this when they mean to say advance notice? You be the judge; here are a couple of examples:
Under altered legislation first introduced by the D.C. Council in December, District workers employed by retail establishments and restaurants with 40 or more locations nationally would be privileged to at least 2 weeks of advanced notice about their shifts and varying compensation rates if those employers change their schedules within that timeframe.
The city of Seattle performed a survey, asking 776 workers about their employment schedules. While most were satisfied with their schedules, some described difficulty with lack of advanced notice in their schedules and wished they could be given more hours to work.
Advance Notice & Advanced Notice Compared
Redundancy issue aside, is there a contrast between advance and advanced notice? Established by the examples above, you may say no. Yet, the definition of advanced is “highly modern, elaborate, higher than elementary level, or at a high level of progress or life.” It doesn’t seem like any of the phrases above fit with those definitions. Advanced notice can’t be an alternative way of writing the words “advance notice” because advanced is not a synonym for advance. On the other hand, an internet search for the phrase will generate thousands of instances of the phrase in legal papers. Why? Burton’s Legal Thesaurus does recognize the term “advanced notice” as a synonym of thirteen terms. They are: announcement, publicity, forewarning, intelligence, prediction, preliminary, pronouncement, dispatch, prophecy, prospectus, notice, publication, and warning. The legal dictionary on Law.com doesn’t contain either phrase, but it does define notice.
Advance (and advanced) notice appears pretty frequently in legal writing. Notice, used alone, however, seems to work nicely. If you like simplicity, leave off “advanced” or “advance” when writing about notice.
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