The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

10 obsolete English phrases that will definitely ruin business correspondence


Source: Skyeng

Councils of the American business consultant.

Фото: Depositphotos

Gary Blake is the author of The Elements of Business Writing (The Basics of Business Correspondence) and a well-known business consultant from Port Washington. He conducts business writing seminars in the United States, consults by mail, and delivers the texts sent by the office and cliches. In an article for the Business Know-How portal, he put together 10 phrases that should be avoided in working emails. Skyeng retells the main points.

If you get rid of these phrases, then the documents and letters that you make up every day will immediately become more effective, Harry promises. You will improve the image of your company, learn to respond more benevolently to complaints and objections, to receive the information you need faster and to reduce thousands of unnecessary words.

1. Yours very truly / Sincerely yours / Very truly yours

This can be translated into Russian as “your sincerely”, “with sincere respect”. You do not belong to anyone, so forget about yours. This appeal is outdated. Instead, choose concise sincerely.

2. Please be advised that ...

In literal translation, it sounds like this: "Please be warned that ...". In a more familiar wording, the meaning is: "Please keep in mind that ...", "Pay attention to the fact that ...". But in the wording please be advised, the phrase is almost always redundant.

Generally advice is advice. You must agree that we often do not hand out advice in business correspondence, but simply inform and acquaint the interviewee with the facts. In general, instead of "Please be advised that the check is overdue" ("Please note that a check is expired"), formulate the idea more concisely and simpler: "The check is overdue". And instead of “I advised him to call me tomorrow” write: “I asked him to call me tomorrow”. Do not overload speech.

3. Kindly

An obsolete word from the business vocabulary (it has a corresponding mark in the dictionaries). The Cambridge Dictionary writes: “Kindly is used when someone asks to do something, especially if it’s an annoying request, but you still want to be polite.” For example: "You are kindly requested to leave the building" ("We ask you to leave the building"). Normal please work much better.

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4. I have forwarded ... / I am forwarding

“I have redirected”, “I am forwarding”. In email, forwarding has a specific meaning - forwarding someone else's email. In other cases (for example, “I am sending you my business card”) simply use send.

5. Respectfully

To the speakers of the Russian language it may seem that in respectfully there is nothing criminal, that this is about respect and reverence. But Harry says the word sounds too formal and a little ingratiating.

According to the expert, it is used with might and main in refusal letters: “I must respectfully disagree with your claim” (“With all due respect, I have to disagree with your claim”). Perhaps the author thinks like this: "If I write respectfully, I will soften the blow." In fact, this does not make the recipient happier, because the application is still rejected.

6. Above-captioned / above referenced

The above, the above. After these phrases, the interlocutor will have to tear himself away from your letter, look up to the RE line, find information there, then re-open the letter and continue reading. Isn't it easier to compile important information in the same letter?

In other words, if “the aforementioned claim” refers to “case No.1548”, why not write: “In the claim on case No.1548 ...”? The whole trick of a successful letter is that the reader has almost nothing to distract.

7. Please do not hesitate to contact me

"Please do not hesitate to contact me." In English, this phrase is a terrible cliche. It sounded very bright and fresh almost half a century ago, and now it is paying for its former popularity. When you use cliché in correspondence, you subtly hint to your reader that you are thinking in templates (and not only in a letter). No matter how harmless this phrase may sound, it makes the author completely impersonal. Replace with “Please call me”.

8. Please note that ...

"Please note that ...". The phrase may seem innocent, but Gary Blake thinks that she, in her intonation, looks like the teacher says: “Now, pay attention!” (“So, now attention!”). He advises avoiding “Please note that ...” in any business letter or conversation.

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9. Enclosed please find

In Russian, the phrase would sound like this: "Attached below ...", "Attached to this letter ...". The true embodiment of stationery. People begin to communicate in this style, when they are desperately trying not to use the word “I” or when they stupidly copy what they have seen in other letters.

What does the word find in this construct mean? There is a good joke on this topic. A guy walks into a restaurant and orders a steak for dinner. Later, the waiter comes to the table, smiles ingratiatingly, and asks: “How did you find your steak?” (“How do you find your steak?”). The guy looks at the waiter and says: "I just moved the mashed potatoes - and there it was!" ("I pushed the mashed potatoes away - and here it is, the steak!").

In both Russian and English, the word “find” can be used in two cases. First, to find something that was hidden, where it was unknown (“How did you find this restaurant?” - “How did you find this restaurant?”). Second, make up your mind about something: “I find this steak very delicious” (“I find this steak very tasty”). In both languages, the second value sounds rather pathetic.

When The Beatles were returning home after a trip to the USA, the journalist asked them: “How did you find America?” (“How did you find America?”). One of the Beatles replied: "We turned left to Greenland." That says it all! No need to find anything. Use enclosed is or I've enclosed.

10. Under separate cover

Many people use this phrase when they want to say that they will send some information in a separate letter: " In fact, it is a formal and old-fashioned phrase. When you hear or see the word cover (which can be translated into Russian as “cover”, “cover”), a large pot of spaghetti immediately appears - and that’s all, the desire to read the letter evaporates.

These rules, of course, are not universal: if you need to send not an email, but, say, a formal letter on paper, follow the official tone and do not listen to what Gary recommends. It is also very important to assess the tone of the interlocutor: if he communicates strictly and officially, then he may not appreciate your desire to write like a human being. In order not to mess up in the correspondence, you need to know the language well - that's all.

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