Hot answers tagged

88

"Dear SE, I don't even know how to express how disappointed I am in you--literally. Because I don't know all the facts. But all the indications I've seen make me fear that the full facts would only make my current disappointment even greater." Thereby: Injecting some smartass humour, but also Expressing how huge your current disappointment is, while ...


53

Dear Stack Exchange, for once can you be honest with us? Why didn't you give Monica Cellio a second and private hearing? Yours, The volunteers who make up Stack Exchange.     Update #1 An explanation and an apology has recently been posted. An Update to our Community and an Apology The line We removed a moderator for ...


30

It depends on what your goal is --an open letter can have many different audiences, and the putative addressee may not be the actual target. With that said, the best structure for a persuasive argument is to start with common ground, and to show how the same things that all sides agree on lead inevitably towards your conclusion. Then, bring things full ...


19

Never I would have believed to consider StackExchange but the mask before the monstrous face of intolerance. That's not stronger than your first attempt. It's so archaic even experienced writers (e.g. me) have trouble parsing it. It took me several tries to see it's not full of errors, and several hours later I'm still not sure about "believed to consider". ...


16

"I am horrified to find..." whatever you are horrified to have discovered "I am most disappointed..." or maybe "I am shocked" or if the event you are writing about is worse you can say "I am appalled to discover..." or "I am disgusted to find that..." Or you can readily swap to a past tense by "I was..." English has many ways to express dislike of ...


12

A postscript is a passage at the end of a letter, following the signature. It only makes sense in the context of a letter composed by hand or on a typewriter, to accommodate an afterthought when you have already finished your letter, and don't want to retype or rewrite the whole thing again. It makes no sense in an email context - or even a paper letter ...


10

Do a search for "which was." (or whatever your problem structure is) Set up a checklist of five different ways to rewrite it: 1) We did such-and-such. I enjoyed it. 2) When we did such-and-such, everyone had a great time. 3) Plus we really had fun that time we did such-and-such. 4) Have you ever done such-and-such? What a blast. 5) Such-and-such is so much ...


10

I find that in the course of angry letter writing, you are walking a balancing act in which you have an action taken that could be motivated by bad faith or by incompetence or an incomplete picture of the situation, so it's best to approach the subject in a clinical manner and lay down the factual merits for your case, rather than your emotional merits. ...


9

I'm sure at this point someone will say, "You can't make broad generalizations about what ALL men or ALL women do or think or feel!" Which of course is true if taken literally. But we certainly can say that MOST men do X or MOST women think Y. We're different ... and vive la difference! Men certainly do have feelings and care about other human beings. The ...


8

We can't standardise, but we can generalise As has been mentioned, there is no standard "man" any more than there is a standard "woman". Some women are into ultimate fighting and woodwork. Some men are into cake decorating and fashion. We are all different. I'm assuming from your question though that your male protagonist is more of a standard "manly" man. ...


8

You could use empty brackets with a space between them. Brackets are generally used to alter a quote inline, such as fixing grammar or to add information like a name so the quoted material will work within the context of the piece quoting it. "desire[ ] all people to be saved" or don't quote that word: It is possible for God to want "all people to be ...


8

I think there are two important aspects that you should make clear: That you indeed do care about the issue. Your letter is not just a rant, you sincerely are concerned about the damage the issue does or may do to what you consider important. Why the addressed should care. The issue is not just something you personally disagree with, but something that may ...


7

There are actually quite a few options, many of which come naturally when you're not forced to consciously write formally. You can change the verb into an –ing: "Having done freelance for 8 years, I..." "Choosing to work from home has..." or in some cases turn the verb into the subject or your sentence. "Experience with Java has ...


7

I feel like this sounds like the employer is the one who really needs me and I sound like I am scarce. That's fair. It seems like the employer does need you more than you need them, and you're not being rude about it. I wouldn't worry about it. I do not know how to end the e-mail. I am 14 so I do not really know what to write so it would not sound ...


6

I use P.S. in emails fairly often. As others points out, P.S. stands for postscript ("after signature") and it means the content was added after the message was signed. However, just because technology gives you the choice of re-wording a message to avoid a postscipt, that doesn't mean you must re-word the message to avoid a postscript. You may chose to ...


6

Good morning XXX, I wanted to touch base with you about the status of your article for the newsletter. Please advise whether you will be able to send it to me by the end of the week. If it doesn't work with your schedule, that's fine; I just need to know one way or the other for planning purposes. Thanks! Regards, [your name]


6

I liked this question - writing letters is a professional use of writing skills, but it's becoming rare to the point of looking like a lost art. The norm (UK, at least) always used to be that if the letter began "Dear Sir / Madam" it would end with "Yours faithfully", while a salutation of "Dear Mr. Smith" would give the valediction "Yours sincerely". ...


4

Regarding the bullet point on the message being "respectful", I would like to point out something which I don't see being stated explicitly in any of the previous answers. This goes equally for both original requests and reminders alike. Make it actionable by the recipient. Give the recipient a clear path forward, next step or next action, in terms of ...


4

My personal opinion? Don't write. They'll never be able to tell you're not some hack just from the letter, and they will not bother to check by replying. Meet them in person at some book-signing or a conference or wherever they meet the public. Talk face to face. Answer their questions. Build a personal relationship. And primarily, value the person for who ...


4

Men have emotions. The problem in your story is how he expresses them. Writing a diary to a girl sounds like something an emo guy who plays guitar to pick up girls or cuts himself would do. Girls might think it's sweet, but most guys would say 'You did what?!' In general, guys tend to be much more direct. More believable reactions (which can be combined): ...


4

More usual phrases to use in that situation are "until now," "at this point," or "at this time". Using "till" will may the reader think 'til, which is much more conversational.


4

I would go with the following. It is possible for God to "[desire] all people to be saved." To me, this suggests that the original quote clearly implied the word desire; a rephrasing like It is possible for God to desire "all people to be saved." leaves more ambiguity.


4

Personally, I think adding too many details harms your case --it makes you sound like someone who habitually searches for excuses rather than someone who experienced a valid, one-time emergency. Therefore, I would initially go with the simplest reasoning: This is XXXX from your Tue/Thu mornings Speech class. I came down with the flu last week and was too ...


4

It depends upon the content of the letter. Just "Thanks," alone can sound off key if there is nothing obvious for which thanks to the reader is warranted, or too light-hearted when providing serious information. "Sincerely," is (to me) taking on an emotional component of a personal relationship to emphasize feelings. In professional communications no such ...


4

Writing to friends and family, you can dispose with formality. You don't need a "structure". "Stream of consciousness" is how such letters were written before computers, before you could rearrange what you have already written. That's how informal letters are written still. I would start a letter with asking about the other person - that's just being polite....


3

I think post by sotondolphin (based on info in the included link) is pretty good, but I have the following disagreements / additions: Make it mistake-free. [Many hirers' attitude is, "If they can't avoid mistakes in a cover letter, then it's guaranteed their work will be even sloppier after I hire them."] I disagree about the technical terms. Often, ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible