Opening Lines in Emails

Ildar’s question: “I have been noticing emails from some of my colleagues and clients that start with ‘Hope all is good and you are doing well.’ Is this an appropriate start of a business inquiry?” BizWritingTip response: Thank you for bringing this up. I dislike this opening and so do many of the people who […]

Grammar Tip – Commas With Introductory Phrases

Robert’s question: “My manager has told me to insert a comma after the first few words in a sentence. However, I was taught to use commas wherever I would take a breath. I don’t often take a breath at the beginning of a sentence. What do you think?” BizWritingTip response: The comma-with-a-breath rule is outdated. As […]

Thank-You Emails

Mary’s question: “Is it always appropriate to send a ‘thank you’ email as a response to any email providing information? I am receiving more and more of these. It seems to me that email senders could set up automatic receipt notices if they wanted to be sure that their emails were received.” BizWritingTip response: I did […]

Text Shorthand in Emails

Robert’s question: “We are having a debate in our office as to whether it is acceptable to use ‘r’ for ‘are’ and other similar shortcuts when sending emails internally.” BizWritingTip response:  Emails are a standard form of business communication, and they should be treated the same as any business document. People expect to read them […]

Openings for Emails

Bev’s question: “In my company, we have been told to start any email response to our customers with ‘Thank you for your email.’ What do you think?”BizwritingTip response: There is nothing wrong with the sentence in terms of grammar or etiquette. But I don’t like it for a number of reasons. First, what are you thanking […]

Email Tip – Name and Signature Boxes in Emails

Diane’s question : “How should you sign off at the end of an email?  Some people don’t sign off but just use their signature box, which includes their full name. Others place their first name above the signature box.” BizWritingTip response: Either way is correct. It’s all about the tone you want to create. If you […]

Word Choice – Pertinent Versus Relevant

Muhammed’s question: “I have a beef about the use of ‘pertinent’ versus ‘relevant.’ Please throw some light on this so I can understand and use these words properly in a pertinent way!” BizWritingTip response: According to the dictionary, relevant  means “having a bearing on the matter at hand.” Pertinent  means “relevant to the matter at hand.” Although the definitions seem similar […]

Writing Style – Email Salutations

A BizWritingTip reader asked, “Would you happen to know which is better for business emails: opening with Hi Jane, Jane, or Dear Jane? Mostly, I see Hi Jane used in my business.” BizWritingTip response: There are several options for starting an email in North America as our business culture is not as formal as other areas. You can use “hi,” […]

Email Tip – E-mail Versus Email

Muhammed’s question: “I have read that The Associated Press has officially killed off ‘e-mail’ in favour of ‘email’ in their official style guide. What are your thoughts?” BizWritingTip response: My first thought is that whatever I write will irritate someone. E-mail is the original spelling of the word. Normally, all English words that use a […]

Writing Style – Saying Thank You in an Email

In our recent poll on pet peeves regarding emails, a number of respondents expressed irritation about receiving messages that contained only the words thank you.They reasoned that opening these short messages wasted their time. They were merely doing their job and didn’t need to be thanked. I understand their rationale; however, sending a thank you indicates […]