Sunday, July 17, 2011

Trite Words and Phrases - Part III

Kind favor, or kind order. Be wary of this word kind. It may be used successfully in some business letters, but not every letter or order is kind.

Line. Do not use in place of merchandise or line of goods.


Poor: Our salesman, Mr. Ocampo, will gladly show you our line.

Better: Our salesman, Mr. Ocampo, will gladly show you our merchandise (or line of goods).


Of the above date. Mention the date always.


Order has gone forward. Tell the customer how and when the order was shipped.


Our Miss Flores. Say, Our representative, Miss Flores, or just Miss Flores.

Poor: Our Miss Flores will call on you next Tuesday, May 5.

Better: Our representative, Miss Flores, will call on you Tuesday, May 5.


Our records show, or Our records do not show. These expressions are similar to According to our records, and all may well be avoided. It is better to say We find, or We do not find.


Permit me to say. It is unnecessary to ask permission to say something.


Please be advised that. Wholly unnecessary. A meaningless introduction to an informative statement. Begin directly.


Proximo. A Latin word meaning on the next. Better to give the exact name of the month unless you are speaking in terms of discount.

Poor: Your order will be shipped on the 5th prox. (or proximo).

Better: Your Order will be shipped April 2.

Correct: Our terms are 2/10 proximo, net 60.


Pursuant to yours of even date. A "worn-out" phrase. Not typical of present-day diction.


Recent date. Vague and unbusinesslike. Better to give the exact date.

Vague: Your letter of recent date.

Definite: Your letter of June 12.


Referring to. Referring to, replying to, regarding the or your, regarding same, wish to say, and similar trite and stereotyped participial opening should be avoided. it is better to begin your letter by answering immediately the question raised in the writer's letter.

"(In answer to your letter of January 10, wish to say that) we are pleased to open an account in your name in accordance with your recent request." The words in parenthesis are unnecessary. To begin with, "We are pleased . . . " gives far more directness to the introductory paragraph. 


Reply. Some authorities feel that this word suggest argument. With certain correspondence writers response or answer is preferable. Perhaps it is better to say "In answer" or "In response to your letter of January 28."


Same. A poor substitute for one of the pronouns it, they, or them.

Poor: Your order of the 3rd received. Will ship same on the 7th.

Better: Thank you for your order of March 3. We expect to be able to ship it to you by the 7th of this month.


State. Often too formal. Better to use say or tell.

Poor: We wish to state . . . 

Better: We are pleased to tell you  . . . 


Take pleasure. A trite expression. Better to say are pleased, or happy, or are glad.

Poor: We take pleasure in announcing our summer line of shoes.

Better: We are pleased to announce our summer shoes for women.


Thanking you in advance. Discourteous and implies that your request will be granted.

Poor: Kindly mail me any information you may have for removing crab-grass. Thanking you in advance for the favor, I remain . . . 

Better: I shall appreciate any information you may have for removing crab-grass.


This is to inform you; this letter is to advise you. Avoid these wordy introductions. Say immediately what you wish to tell the reader.


Trusting this will, or I trust that this will. Both of these phrases are rather trite as well as weak. Close you letters with more original and meaningful expression.


Ultimo. A Latin word meaning the preceding. No longer used in modern business correspondence.

Poor: Yours of the 8th ultimo (or ult.) received.

Better: We have received your letter of September 8.


Under separate cover. Rather meaningless. Better to be specific and give the method of shipping, or omit the phrase entirely.

Poor: We are sending you under separate cover a copy of our book.

Better: We are sending you by parcel post a copy of our book. Or: We are sending you a copy of our book.


Up to this writing. State immediately in your opening sentence what has taken place. For example: "Since we have not received a confirmation of the order you gave us over the telephone yesterday . . . "

Upon investigation. Unnecessary to talk about an investigation. Instead, say what your examination  has revealed.


Valued. Too effusive and suggestive of flattery. Better to omit.

Poor: We appreciate your valued order given to our salesman, Mr. Santos.

Better: We appreciate your order given to our salesman, Mr. Santos.


We take this opportunity. Do not write this meaningless expression. Instead, tell immediately what you intend to do with the opportunity.


Will appreciate; will be glad; will be pleased. In these expressions, will is incorrectly used for shall.

Wrong: I will appreciate your giving me an opportunity to display our merchandise.

Right: I shall appreciate your giving me an opportunity to display our merchandise.


Wrong: I will be glad to discuss this matter more fully with you.

Right: I shall be glad to discuss the terms of our contract more fully with you.


Wish to say; wish to state; would say. All are examples of needless, wordy phraseology. Simply omit.

Poor: Referring to you letter of the 10th, that we cannot fill your order before the first of July.

Better: In response to your letter of March 10, we regret we cannot fill your order before July 1.


Poor: In answer to your inquiry of June 2, would say that we are not permitted to quote prices to unauthorized dealers.

Better: In response to your inquiry of June 2, we regret our inability to quote prices to unauthorized dealers.


Your letter received. Obviously, or you wouldn't be answering. Instead, indicate your answer immediately.


Yours of recent date. Another needless, meaningless introduction. Begin your message immediately.

Poor: Yours of the 9th received and in answer would say . . . 

Better: Your request that all further shipments be sent via Railway Express has been called to the attention of our shipper. 


Poor: Your favor of the 9th has been received.

Better: The quotations submitted in your letter of July 9meet with the approval of our building committee.


Poor: Yours of the 10th received and contents duly noted.

Better: Your order received ____________ .

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