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Thread: Random General Questions

  1. #601
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    “I only have one car” - “only” (adverb) modifies “have”

    “I have only one car” - “only” modifies “one” (car)
    Yeah, exactly! Of course you'd know it easily, but a lot of people struggle for a bit before they can grasp the difference. I encountered this last week when I had to explain ambiguous modifiers to a student. "I only have one car" means I have nothing in my life except one car. "I have only one car" means that, while I may own lots of things, when it come to cars, I have just one.

    I don't actually care that much about this stuff, especially not in "normal" life, but I do find it weirdly entertaining.

  2. #602
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    The French / Latin / Spanish way of responding to "Thank you" = "it's nothing" which is sometimes good.

    But, on a professional level, when a client or a business contact sends me a sincere email thanking me, it's professional to respond to that gratitude in a thoughtful and proper way.

    "It's nothing" implies that the task was unimportant, and it sells myself short and discounts their gratitude (thanking me for nothing).

    But "you're very welcome" (my typical response) says that they are the deserving object of my assistance and it's a pleasure helping them.

    My other response is "it's my pleasure."

    Language = communication
    Yeah, this is why it takes me like 25 minutes to compose minor work emails these days. I sit there fretting over all this subtle tonal stuff.

    What's your preferred signing-off phrase? Personally, I just can't get into "sincerely." Seems overly formal and old fashioned somehow. I tend to go with a simple "Thanks," but sometimes I feel like that sounds weird when there's nothing in the email that I should be thanking them for, as in: "No, so far the Gen Ed department hasn't reached out to me about that...Thanks." What am I thanking this person for, especially since he was the one who first emailed me? Makes no damn sense.

    A woman in the IT department once used "With tender regard" as her sign off, which I found hilarious given that the email was mundane as shit, something about the site being down for a few hours over the weekend for server stuff.

  3. #603
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    As a Paralegal, I’m held to a little less level of formality than Attorneys (who usually use “Very Truly Yours” in letter correspondence and “Sincerely” in email messages).

    I use “Thanks!” (one exclamation point) with familiar, regular contacts who helped me facilitate procedures, and “Thank you,” (no exclamation point but a comma) with (non-familiar) Attorneys or contacts who require more formal sucking-up.

    One of my late close friends was (for over 40 years) a legal secretary to this attorney who still closed his letters with “I Remain,”

    HAAAAAAAA HA HA HA HAAAAAAA

    These days, in business, “sincerely” is one of the least formal closings.

    I initially HATED my 350-level “Business Writing” course but it has turned out to be one of the most VALUABLE courses ever; even with Law.
    Last edited by allegro; 12-04-2017 at 10:23 PM.

  4. #604
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantra View Post
    Yeah, this is why it takes me like 25 minutes to compose minor work emails these days. I sit there fretting over all this subtle tonal stuff.

    What's your preferred signing-off phrase? Personally, I just can't get into "sincerely." Seems overly formal and old fashioned somehow. I tend to go with a simple "Thanks," but sometimes I feel like that sounds weird when there's nothing in the email that I should be thanking them for, as in: "No, so far the Gen Ed department hasn't reached out to me about that...Thanks." What am I thanking this person for, especially since he was the one who first emailed me? Makes no damn sense.

    A woman in the IT department once used "With tender regard" as her sign off, which I found hilarious given that the email was mundane as shit, something about the site being down for a few hours over the weekend for server stuff.
    I can absolutely relate to fretting over some mundane work e-mail for entirely too long. Checking for typos, tenses, level of subtlety the message conveys etc. Half the time it takes me too long to post something on this board and I get logged out so I cut and paste when I’m done in case that happens! Many people at my workplace have “respectfully” or “very respectfully” as an automatic signature. I usually just sign my first name to those I know and “thanks” to specific requests that are fulfilled.

    Lol to “with tender regard”....feels British and too emotional for the states.

    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    As a Paralegal, I’m held to a little less level of formality than Attorneys (who usually use “Very Truly Yours” in letter correspondence and “Sincerely” in email messages).

    I use “Thanks!” (one exclamation point) with familiar, regular contacts who helped me facilitate procedures, and “Thank you,” (no exclamation point but a comma) with (non-familiar) Attorneys or contacts who require more formal sucking-up.

    One of my late close friends was (for over 40 years) a legal secretary to this attorney who still closed his letters with “I Remain,”

    HAAAAAAAA HA HA HA HAAAAAAA

    These days, in business, “sincerely” is one of the least formal closings.

    I initially HATED my 350-level “Business Writing” course but it has turned out to be one of the most VALUABLE courses ever; even with Law.
    Lol have never seen a signature with “I remain”!

  5. #605
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    Quote Originally Posted by thenorthwood View Post
    Lol have never seen a signature with “I remain”!
    It’s so archaic, I think King Henry VIII’s scribe used it LOL.



    You are absolutely right to fret over the language of email in a professional setting, though.

    It can lead to total disaster if it’s wrong.

    I’ve seen some BAD shit happen when people don’t edit the reply all list or don’t edit out proprietary info from the chain in responses.
    Last edited by allegro; 11-29-2017 at 01:34 PM.

  6. #606
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    I close emails with “Thanks!” (one exclamation point) with familiar, regular contacts who helped me facilitate procedures
    Holy shit, you bust out the exclamation point for your sign offs?? Damn, that's a bold move. I can respect that. I don't think I've got that much fire in me.

    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    If I’m responding in email to someone and I’m not thanking them, I sign off with:

    - Myname
    I'm always scared this will sound too terse.

  7. #607
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    Quote Originally Posted by thenorthwood View Post
    Half the time it takes me too long to post something on this board and I get logged out so I cut and paste when I’m done in case that happens!
    OMG, I fucking hate when this happens!!! I weep for all my precious posts that have been LOST over the years because of this goddamn shit. Who knows how many of my dumb jokes and long-winded rambles about tv shows have slipped into the cyber void. Sometimes I can click back and salvage the post, but other times it'll do this weird "time out" shit, or something, idk, and then my post is just GONE. And then I'm out for blood.

  8. #608
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantra View Post
    Holy shit, you bust out the exclamation point for your sign offs?? Damn, that's a bold move. I can respect that. I don't think I've got that much fire in me.

    I'm always scared this will sound too terse.
    I’m in real estate law. Not academia, like you.
    Last edited by allegro; 12-06-2017 at 02:08 AM.

  9. #609
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    Okay, so what do you guys all do for greetings?

    I actually tend to use "Hey__(person's first name)__," quite a lot, which is probably a tad too casual, but I find that it's a good way to start things off in a relaxed, comfortable tone. The only time I don't use this is for people I don't know well or at all, in which case I'm forced to use something else, which I usually find annoying. I'm kind of attached to my "Hey___" greetings.

  10. #610
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantra View Post
    Okay, so what do you guys all do for greetings?

    I actually tend to use "Hey__(person's first name)__," quite a lot, which is probably a tad too casual, but I find that it's a good way to start things off in a relaxed, comfortable tone. The only time I don't use this is for people I don't know well or at all, in which case I'm forced to use something else, which I usually find annoying. I'm kind of attached to my "Hey___" greetings.
    Formal email intro:

    Mr. Smith;

    Informal email intro:

    Hi, Ted, or

    Ted,
    Last edited by allegro; 11-29-2017 at 01:20 AM.

  11. #611
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    ^^Yep

  12. #612
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    Quote Originally Posted by thenorthwood View Post
    Lol have never seen a signature with “I remain”!
    you remain, i am stained

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    Quote Originally Posted by eversonpoe View Post
    you remain, i am stained
    Yes, but that suggests someone continues to live on in a person’s mind, which may or may not be the case years later.

    “I remain” without any modifiers like “I remain your humble servant” or “I remain a raving lunatic” feels strange because “I remain” denotes something that can be in flux. It is still John Smith writing the note but not describing any aspects of John Smith.

    The above has no basis in research or history of grammar, just how I interpret it. Language is an interesting topic.

  14. #614
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    Formal email intro:

    Mr. Smith;

    Informal email intro:

    Hi, Ted, or

    Ted,
    So are you telling me I can't keep using "Hey (name),"? NEVER? Come on.

    Also, I REFUSE to use commas like that for greetings. Yes, I'm 100% aware of the grammatical explanation (direct addresses need to have the individual's name offset with commas), but I don't care because it looks weird and unnatural to me when it's placed in the greeting like that: "Hi, Ted," ... I hate it! Almost nobody uses it anyway. Even the English Profs here only use it about 34% of the time.
    Last edited by Mantra; 11-29-2017 at 10:23 AM.

  15. #615
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    Quote Originally Posted by thenorthwood View Post
    “I remain” without any modifiers like “I remain your humble servant” or “I remain a raving lunatic” feels strange because “I remain” denotes something that can be in flux. It is still John Smith writing the note but not describing any aspects of John Smith.
    Maybe he was just letting people know that he hadn't decided to have his name legally changed in case they were wondering. "BTW everyone, I'm still going by John Smith. I remain, John Smith."

  16. #616
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantra View Post
    So are you telling me I can't keep using "Hey (name),"? NEVER? Come on.

    Also, I REFUSE to use commas like that for greetings. Yes, I'm 100% aware of the grammatical explanation (direct addresses need to have the individual's name offset with commas), but I don't care because it looks weird and unnatural to me when it's placed in the greeting like that: "Hi, Ted," ... I hate it! Almost nobody uses it anyway. Even the English Profs here only use it about 34% of the time.
    But business writing is business writing, it’s its own animal with a whole set of protocols. It’s not grammatical, it’s more like MLA citations not being “grammar” but important?

    Like, legal pleadings (yes, that’s what they are called LOL) conclude with a “Prayer for Relief,” and a standard prayer is usually like:

    “Defendant prays that this suit so wrongfully brought be dismissed at Plaintiff’s costs and for whatever other relief that this court seems just.”

    More modern versions are “Defendant requests that this suit be dismissed at Plaintiff’s cost and for other just relief that that court deems applicable.”

    Really, legal language is probably THE most formal in so many ways, I can’t even continue without drifting this thread; you spend a minimum of three semesters learning how to do proper Blue Book citations so a Judge doesn’t throw out your suit.

    BUT yes you can use “Hey Joe” if it is appropriate in a certain context ... I use “Hey” sometimes with certain contacts with whom I have a pretty close and informal relationship.
    Last edited by allegro; 11-29-2017 at 01:39 PM.

  17. #617
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantra View Post
    Maybe he was just letting people know that he hadn't decided to have his name legally changed in case they were wondering. "BTW everyone, I'm still going by John Smith. I remain, John Smith."
    You guys are misunderstanding how “I Remain” is used in the closing, it’s not all by itself.

    Here, see this: https://english.stackexchange.com/qu...-of-the-letter

    It’s still ARCHAIC and even the otherwise-formal field of law moved on from using it AGES ago.

    I spend TOO MUCH TIME putting a comma after the year in everything my Boss types that has a year in it. Lol
    Last edited by allegro; 11-29-2017 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Uh no glasses

  18. #618
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    Like, legal pleadings (yes, that’s what they are called LOL) conclude with a “Prayer for Relief,” and a standard prayer is usually like:

    “Defendant prays that this suit so wrongfully brought be dismissed at Plaintiff’s costs and for whatever other relief that this court seems just.”

    More modern versions are “Defendant requests that this suit be dismissed at Plaintiff’s cost and for other just relief that that court deems applicable.”
    Haha, that's amazing.

    So basically the judge is God?

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    ...and I still don't know if certain movie is "Last (Action Hero)" or "(Last Action) Hero". :-)

    Also, official corporate e-mail signature starts with "Best wishes,"(linebreak, name, address...), and I usually start with "Hello" but sometimes try to do something different, like "dear world," :-)
    Last edited by Substance242; 12-01-2017 at 10:22 AM.

  20. #620
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    Quote Originally Posted by Substance242 View Post
    ...and I still don't know if certain movie is "Last (Action Hero)" or "(Last Action) Hero". :-)

    Also, official corporate e-mail signature starts with "Best wishes,"(linebreak, name, address...), and I usually start with "Hello" but sometimes try to do something different, like "dear world," :-)
    it's "Last (Action Hero)" as in "the last of the action heroes" not "the hero who takes the last action."

  21. #621
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    Hey guys, today at work I had a Cambodian student ask me to explain what "You're welcome" means. She specifically stated that she found it confusing because we use "welcome" for things like "welcome to my home," so she couldn't figure out why it should be used as a follow up to "Thank you." And thanks to our very thorough discussion of this exact topic in this thread last week, I was able to provide her with an even better, more informed answer than I normally would have.

    So...thank you ETS for helping me do my job. lol.

  22. #622
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    ^^Awesome!

    Here’s something I’ve thought about many times: Has anyone successful made a permanent transition from a night person to a morning person? Since I was a child I’ve always stayed up too late. I thought having a career would change that but after a couple decades in the workforce it hasn’t happened. I stay up late and get up early, always with a struggle and always tired. I need to break the cycle...how long to make it stick?

  23. #623
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    @allegro , you going to the Metro on Saturday?

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