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5 Phrases You Should Never Use In An Email | Fast Company

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These belong in any list of Ten Email Commandments. 

Drake Baer's top 5 phrases to stop using in email:

1. I hope you are well.

2. I thought I would reach out.

3. Can I pick your brain?

4. Bounce an idea off of you.

5. Sincerely yours.

His article explains why each of these word phrases is deplorable.

Also, stop using smilies in email. They're inappropriate and unprofessional.

Why "I HOPE YOU ARE WELL" is a bad phrase: It's cliche.

"This 'hope' is always followed by a page of boilerplate," James says. "In any case, if you don't know me, don't pretend you care about me."

So how can we do better than pretending to care about someone? Maybe by actually caring, actually getting to know the other person. Speaking to a journalist, PR folks that have just asked me to have a cup of coffee with them have been able to form an actual human bond rather than a forced relatedness. So when they holler at me, I holler back.

To quote E.B. White in the Elements of Style:

[T]he proper correction is likely to be not the replacement of one word or set of words by another but the replacement of a vague generality with a definite statement.

More on why you should not use emoticons like smilies in email:

Recruiters ALWAYS use 1, 2, and 5. I could write a script that scraped resume boards and sent out convincing recruiter emails using these blah statements.

Or you could automate a response whenever you receive an email with 1, 2, and 5 that replies with the email, "Go away or I will replace you with a tiny script."

That's a great line, Adam.

It's been said to me before too. :)

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