Probably the most common of these cliché expressions is, “Please don’t hesitate to call.” (“Gee, I hadn’t thought about hesitating, but now that you mention it….”) Even the expression “Feel free to call” has become tired and overused, and some people find it condescending (“Gee, thanks for giving me permission….”).
Even worse, don’t presume the reader will do what you want because you’ve thanked him or her “in advance.” This is another cliché business expression that many people find presumptive (“How can you thank me? I haven’t done it yet.”) or dismissive (“Sure, thank me ahead of time to get this whole situation out of your hair.”). What is your take on this?
I think whether these phrases are appropriate depends upon the context. In an informal setting -- emails, internet posts -- they can be annoying and a waste of bandwidth. In formal business correspondence, they may be necessary. True, they are meaningless and redundant. But they show a certain courtesy that is still needed in a formal context.
Several months ago, we discussed (in response to a letter Sanjay posted) the difference between American and Indian courtesy phrases in formal letters. Americans are more direct -- even blunt -- in comparison to the more ornate forms still used in India. However, that directness is still tempered by some of these meaningless flourishes.
|link||answered Jun 25 '12 at 16:32 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
I often thank someone in advance in a letter. People will more often live up to one’s expectations if they know what those expectations are. It is a courteous way to say, “I expect you to do this & I will be appreciative when it is done.” Yes, it is presumptive, but I only use it when I presume a person will do their job.
I don’t find the “feel free to call” type of phrases to be overused or condescending. Actually, since more and more communication in business is done via email, it is refreshing to have someone suggest that I could call with questions rather than keep emailing back & forth. I don’t use those phrases if I don’t really want to talk to the person.
It seems that most of your post was copied from another source that you are reading, and you are asking for our opinion on that person’s thoughts. If so, it would be helpful if you could separate that from the part that you actually wrote. Without getting into a conversation about copyrights & reposting from other sources (a topic many people have little understanding of), it can be somewhat confusing when you mix the words of others with those of your own.
|link||answered Jun 25 '12 at 17:50 Patty T Grammarly Fellow|
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