Sunday, July 3, 2011

Trite Words and Phrases - Part II

Awaiting your. This phrase lacks originality. It is better to say, "May we have an answer at once?"

Beg. Avoid such expressions as beg to state, beg to advise, beg to acknowledge, etc.


Poor: In answer to yours of the 10th inst., beg to state . . .

Better: In answer (or response; or reply) to your letter of May 10, we are pleased . . .


By return mail. This expression has become trite. Be more original and use immediately or at once, or mention a specific date.


Claim. Do not use in the sense of assert or maintain. "He asserted (Not claimed) that the political party had a deficit."

Complaint. Avoid the use of this word. It often irritates and antagonizes the customer.

Negative: Replying to your complaint of the 5th regarding your delayed order . . .

Better: Your letter of May 5 gives us the opportunity to explain the cause for the delay in shipping your last order.


Contents carefully noted. Contributes little to a business letter. It is better to refer directly to what the letter says.

Poor: Yours of the 5th received and contents carefully noted.

Better: The instruction outlined in your letter of june 5 have been followed in every detail.


Duly. Needless.

Poor: Your request has been duly forwarded to our executive offices.

Better: Your request has been forwarded to our executive offices.


Enclosed herewith. Herewith is unnecessary here. Enclosed is would be better.

Enclosed please find. Needless and faulty phraseology. The word please has little meaning in this instance, and the word find is improperly used.

Poor: Enclosed please find a sample of our #1903A black elastic ribbon.

Better: We are enclosing (or We enclose) a sample of our #1903A black elastic ribbon.


Esteemed. Too flowery and effusive.

Poor: We welcomed your esteemed favor of the 9th.

Better: Thank you for your letter of April 9.


Even date. It is much forceful to give the exact date, as Your letter of January 24 . . .

Favor. Do not use the word favor in the sense of letter, order, or check. "Thank you for your letter (Not favor) of October 4."


Handing you. Out of place in the correspondence today.

Poor: We are handing you herewith directions from our Mr. J. C. Cruz.

Better: We enclose a copy of directions prepared by our engineer,  Mr. J. C. Cruz.


Has come to hand. Obviously, the fact that you answer the letter indicates that you must have received it.


Have before me. A "worn-out" expression.

Poor: I have before me your complaint of the 10th.

Better: In answer (or response or reply) to your letter of November 10 . . .


Hereto. Often needless.

Poor: We are attaching hereto a copy of our contract covering prices on linoleum.

Better: We are attaching to this letter a copy of our contract covering prices on linoleum.


Herewith. Often redundant.

Poor: We enclose herewith a copy of our booklet.

Better: We are pleased to enclose a copy of our booklet.


Hoping to receive, hear, etc. Always avoid closing sentences which begin with a participle.

I have before me your letter. The reader is more interested in facts than where you have put the letter.

In due course, or in due time. These expressions are indefinite and weak.

In re. Avoid. Better state the subject immediately or directly.

Poor: In re our telephone conversation of this morning.

Better: In response to your telephone inquiry of yesterday, your order for six generator sets will be ready for shipment tomorrow.


In reply to.

Poor: In reply to yours of the 23rd together with your check for P925. would say --

Better: Thank you for your check of P925. Your order for 15 additional crocket sets will be shipped to you today.


In reply wish to say; in reply would state. These words are unnecessary. State immediately what you have on your mind.

In response to your favor. Trite and mechanical.

Inst. Avoid the abbreviation of the word instant, and the word instant itself.

Poor: Your favor of the 6th inst. (or instant) . . .

Better: Your letter of June 6 . . .



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