"If you will" origin

Posted by The Fallen on January 08, 2002

In Reply to: "If you will" origin posted by Aaron on January 08, 2002

: Does anyone know where "if you will" originated (e.g. "follow along please, if you will")

I think it's just a standard old-fashioned phrase that's survived up to the present day as a throwaway politeness. "Will" is being used in its less normal and more archaic sense of "wish", and could just as easily be replaced with the equally pointless "if you wouldn't mind". Of course, any speaker of such a phrase expects absolutely no deviation from his/her instruction, despite the apparent genteel politeness of the conditional clause.