Sunday, September 30, 2012

for the benefit of m/s IT

Here are a few things that I think, will help you, oh well-paid-person-of-the-IT-profession-for-whom-English-is-a-language-undeserving-of-attention.
  • You update things. Not people. You are also a person. So stop asking people to update you. Ask people to simply "let me know." Stop offering to update people. "I will let you know" is a simple alternative
  • You are not a batch processing system. You are not a terminal. You are not a text box waiting for data. So stop asking people for input. Stop thanking them for it. People offer suggestions, hints, advice. Take the appropriate thing and thank them for it
  • The words gentle reminder can never be gentle for the reader. One could bet the universe that the person you sent that to is even less pleased to work with you than before. Try writing something that you would actually say to the intended recipient, if you had to pick up the phone and talk to him or her.
  • Stop writing PFA or Please find attached. This is not a treasure hunt. This is not a request. You have attached something to your email, because you thought it would make your email more useful to the reader. Most modern email clients make it very clear to the reader that the email has attachments.
  • Stop looping people into an email thread. There is no known meaning of the word that can explain what you are trying to do. Add their email address to the CC field of your email and explain clearly why you have added more people to the thread. Be nice.
  • Stop asking people to revert to you. Here is a summary of the different meanings of that word. I hope that will explain why what you have been doing is funny, grotesque and rude at the same time. Respond and reply have not yet been excommunicated from the English language. Please consider these more appropriate words.

I wrote a post a few years ago about some other things that you may have ended up saying or using. If you can ignore the venom in the post, you may find some more useful tips there.

Consider also this site that serves up several samples of writing that you may find familiar. Although the site presents them for a few laughs, it can also serve an instructional purpose: if what you write in emails or what you say resembles any of the samples on this site, consider changing your ways.

Thank you for your kind attention. I remain, humbly yours, suffering in silence.

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