How to send email like a non-metaphorical boss


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2015/09/20/how-to-send-email-like-a-non-m.html


#2

Mike Judge nailed it years ago.


#3

This is not a how-to. It’s a cut and paste from an interesting article, but there’s nothing about “how to send an email like a non-metaphorical boss” in there.


#4

My God! An inaccuracy in my BoingBoing?

You know what would be great? Feeding these to a Markov chain.


#5

Sure it does. It’s a trivial application of Bayes’ theorem.


#6

Observation: I’ve never actually been able to implement a baysian classifier on my own that produced sensible results without the help of smarter people than me.

But maybe I should try again with the BBS… :smile:


#7
  • Great thanks are in order…
  • Great Thanksgiving Recipes
  • Great, thanks. Thanks a bunch.

#8

This sort’a thing shivers you to the bone.


#9

I know it’s meant to be funny but I’ve found myself actually struggling NOT to say this exact phrase to my staff. I’ve had to catch myself more than a few times.

It’s like the crap you say when you’re a parent that you swore you’d never say to your kids…like “when I was your age…”, etc.


#10

I only verbally say it, with the exact cadence of Lumbergh.


#11

Yeah, but you’re doing it ironically. There’s no excuse for me other than the fact that I’m turning into Lumbergh.


#12

A Krieger/Lumbergh hybrid!?
You will be the Downfall of us all, man!!


#13

Fortunately my team consists entirely of clones so compliance is high.


#14

Don’t they have to work out all the locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionaries?


#15

Precisely!


#16

3rd on the boss list, “You gave.”

3rd on the employee list, “I took.”


#17

If you didn’t identify these phrases as coming from a workplace hierarchy, you could easily pass them off as “the most frequently used e-mail phrases”. I mean… “can you help” and “good one” don’t exactly signify a power structure.

Here’s the most common e-mail response I receive from my bosses: “ok”

Also, being super nit-picky here: it’s e-mail. Like x-ray and in-law.


#18

To: Cory
Subject: your article
Great, thanks.


#19

It’s a mistake to extrapolate workplace generalities from one company’s emails. Enron, like most corporations, had its own culture with a dialect and prescribed manners of interaction that don’t necessarily carry over into other industries and companies. This graph would probably look a lot different with a corpus of email from Twitter or the Pentagon or Happy Mutants LLC.


#20

I don’t see what the takeaway is from this.

For bosses not to check status or thank employees? For them to speak in Klingon or Esperanto, to thus avoid using the phrases a previous boss might’ve used? (Until all bosses start doing this and then inevitably moving on to cuneiform on wax tablets?)