Sunday, 4 December 2016

I humbly beg you to kindly cut it out

There are a number of qualities you need to succeed in PR, which I lack. One is extreme levels of efficiency and organisation. Another is a desire to remain in the background, while someone else takes the credit for the thing you killed yourself writing. A final one is the ability and desire to be arse-lickingly obsequious to the client and it is this last one that leads to emails from certain colleagues to clients starting with: "I would kindly ask you to approve the attached..."

This is wrong. Seriously, it's wrong and it's also increasingly prevalent. Yesterday I saw a sign in town reading, 'We kindly ask you to order your drinks at the bar before taking a seat.'


It should be, 'We ask you to kindly order your drinks etc'. It means 'to be kind enough to'. If you yourself are kindly asking someone to do something, it possibly implies a level of threat if they don't that is quite clearly not present in the PR-client relationship.

I do notice however that how I react to this sort of thing depends who writes it. The other day Putin-bot Mary Dejevsky wrote 'fractious' when she clearly meant 'fractured' and within seconds I was penning foaming emails in green courier. Dave Eggers on the same day used 'amenity' in a way that I had not previously considered correct and I found myself willing to believe I'd learnt something.

Anyhow, I'm going to have a lot more time for green tinted emails (and blog posts) from next year because for the reasons outlined in the first paragraph and a few others, I am quitting my job in a couple of weeks' time.

Quite what I am going to do instead, I don't know. I've reached one of the sign posts on the way to dodgy mental health that I have learned to recognise - the inability to raise the energy to put on socks. In December, this leads to not going out and that's not a good thing.


  1. Well, I'll welcome the blog posts (though the great art of commenting seems to have vanished, as far as most of us are concerned) and I hope you can drive yourself to continue putting on your socks and going out. Depression can spiral too easily.

    I don't think I've noticed the kindly thing, though I could come up with similar phrases that are just as wrong. It seems not to matter nowadays - but in that case, they could just leave the word out.

  2. Oh GSE I've missed you! There are an insufficient number of grammar pedants out there, even fewer with the genuine nowse to justify their exasperation.

    Sorry, you won't recognize me in my new disguise. I've reinvented myself. Once upon a time I married a Pirate (*whispers* that's your clue). Now I have a new life and a new blog.

    Part of the reason for the identity make-over are the three years I battled with serious depression. Now I need a new start, but I miss my old blog friends and am trying to track them down.

    I totally sympathize with the mental health issues. They will probably feature large in my new blog. I would be utterly delighted if you stopped by to say "hello."

    1. hello - I've dropped over to leave a comment or two

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