Same job, different uniform.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

girlfriday: thanks for what?

Have you noticed how we often conclude our letters and emails with "thanks?"
_______

Dear Suzie Chapstick:

You are getting evicted. Please call us with questions.

Thanks!
Writer Untrained in Letter Writing

or

Dear Suzie Lipstick (close cousin):

I will call you with information as soon as I have it.

Thank you,
Writer Untrained in Letter Writing

_______

I am not grousing. (I'm convinced this is one of the few remnants of good manners left in our impolite age.) I do find it amusing though.

Gratitude is generally extended for services provided or kindnesses shown. Sometimes we thank someone in advance. What we do not do is end our statements with thank you. "See you tonight. Thanks!" Or, "I'll call you when I get there. Thank you."

We write this way because we don't know how to end anything. Endings are awkward. We're afraid to be perceived as terse or formal.

Don't be afraid anymore.

Reading the trite closings lodged in the dozens of emails I receive every day is exhausting. Words are beautiful, but only if they're well used. Do not be afraid to STOP WRITING when you don't have anything else to say. End your sentence and hit send or lick the envelope.

Thanks!


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3 Comments:

Blogger mike the eyeguy said...




Maybe the implicit meaning is "thanks for not immediately tossing this email into the dumpster along with the other 450."

Friday, October 13, 2006

 
Blogger girlfriday said...




This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, October 13, 2006

 
Blogger girlfriday said...




Are you suggesting that we say "thanks" to our reader to thank them for reading our message?

As for immediately tossing emails, I can hardly categorize deleting seven-year-old emails as whimsical.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 13, 2006

 

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