Monday, October 1, 2007

From A Recent Business Letter

"This stock will hopefully allow "our team" to offer the only fixtures in stock in the Midwest." First, "hopefully" is both a weak and superfluous adverb. Omitting it entirely instills more confidence in me as a manufacturer's rep. Also, the quotation marks around "our team" are unnecessary. And whenever ANY business letter includes any of the following references:
1. "Our team,"
2. The word "solutions," or
3. "Contact either myself or _____ for more details,"
Then I lose interest. Good Lord, people. We are not a team. We are in business together. If we were a team, when the hell is our first game?

Then, later in the same letter, we find: "The co-rep policies would be as are detailed on the following page:" This is so awkward I don't even know where to begin. How about, "The co-rep policies are:" Enough said.

6 comments:

doug said...

I've always had beef with "hopefully" in this sense, and not only because it's weak. To me, what it essentially means is this: This stock will allow our team to offer the only fixtures in stock in the Midwest, and it will do so with hope.

The problem gets even worse with the word "doubtfully," which, as I apply my literal reading, gives a sentence a meaning opposite its intended meaning. Example: "I will doubtfully be home on time," as I read it, means, "I will be home on time, and I will be there filled with doubt."

Lesley (El Zed) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lesley (El Zed) said...

I agree wholeheartedly with you about those two abused adverbs, Doug. Very neatly said.

I bristle with irritation at the even more frequent abuse of the reflexive pronoun, 'myself'.
Pompous idiots like the writer of this business letter seem to think using 'me' is crass, vulgar or rude. Lord knows why.
So, they replace the 'me' with the assumed gentility of 'myself', unaware of how utterly dumb it makes them sound!
Sad, isn't it?
You do occasionally hear a reflexive pronoun being used as a nominative: 'My partners and myself will be in Maryland ... '
All of which ought to be punishable by law.

Andy Ray said...

Right on, Lesley. Good example. It sounds like all of the partners will attend, along with my self. In other words, even if I die before the meeting, my body will be there. Whereas, my partners' bodies, hearts, souls, minds, etc. will all attend. They will be "complete" humans, but all you can count on from me is merely my self, or my body.

ubermint said...

I'm enjoying your blog Andy, but it seems there's a serious grammatical wrench in your last post.

And whenever ANY business letter includes any of the following references:
1. "Our team,"
2. The word "solutions," or
3. "Contact either myself or _____ for more details,"
Then I lose interest.


Of course blogs are informal communication, but for one who rants about grammar errors in multiple types of communication, you could come up with a sentence far better than that one. I'm not going to write the correct sentence. You already know the obvious errors.

aldrin james said...

I found this post very interesting and I can say that it is informative too. I learned a lot of things that I didn't know in writing a business letter.

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