Thursday, October 11, 2007

Corporate drone business correspondence pet peeves

  • Ping. Ping is generally used to see if a host is online. Optionally some very basic info about the packet's trip and the host's name can be returned. It's not a request for any kind of detailed information. Thus, to 'ping someone about something' makes no sense. You would 'ask' someone about something. 'Ask' is even a shorter word, so using 'ping' isn't even laziness!

  • Thanks. Emails that end with 'thanks', whether or not it's even appropriate to be thanking anyone for anything. Some people even have it in their signature! For example, someone is answering a question, and ends the email with 'thanks.' Thanks for what?!?!

  • Feel free. 'If you have any questions, feel free to ask.' That's super-helpful, because if I had any questions I wouldn't otherwise feel free to ask. I really need that permission, because I just don't feel like I can ask otherwise.

  • Apostrophes. I thought this was an ignorant American thing, but I'm seeing it everywhere now. Even the defenders of the Queen's English in Great Britain. Apostrophes are used to indicate possession or to mark missing letters in a contraction. They're not used to indicate a plural, except in the rare case of lowercase letters (there are 16 letter e's in this sentence)!

  • They're and their. 'They're' is a contraction of 'they' and 'are' and 'their' is a plural possessive. It's embarassing how many highly paid, supposedly educated professionals, newspapers and other public-facing media make this mistake!

I'll ping Wendy about they're 3rd quarter results for the western region. Feel free to contact me with any question's. Thanks.

I feel better for getting this off my chest!