Pleasant incidents

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When I teach business writing classes, I often ask attendees about their pet peeves as readers. These are things that slow them down or drive them nuts as readers. The other day I heard a pet peeve for the first time, from a bank employee I will call Kay. I think her pet peeve is worth passing on. Why should they be sorry to ask me to do my job? Are you surprised, as I was? After all, why should people be sorry to ask others to do something that is part of their jobs?

I believe we write or say "Sorry to bother you" to be polite. But if it is the person's job, it's not extra work--it is simply their work. Below are polite alternatives to "Sorry to bother you. And what do you think of my replacements for "Sorry to bother you"? I welcome your thoughts. May 04, in EmailEtiquette Permalink. I do think something like 'sorry to bother you. For example, if I ask someone for something, and they get back to me with info, but I find there is some additional info that I need that they didn't address in their original response, THEN it is fair to use the 'sorry for bothering', because at that point you may actually be a bother!

Even then, I will always ask the clarifying question in the first sentence and close the email with the 'sorry to bother McClain Watson May 04, at That opening is partly joke, but I think it also makes a point. Does it preset your mind to think the message will have a negative impact on you? That's what the opening described by Kay does to me - I tend to go into a defensive mode when I read or hear that as the opening. I'm looking for any reason to delete the email without reading it all the way through.

My mind admittedly much more sarcastic than most silently responds with, "Well then, don't bother me; that way neither of us will be sorry. This is especially true if I do not have a close working relationship with the author.

I like all of your alternatives, Lynn. I think they provide openings for the rest of the message, which is what the author needs to do. Randy Averill May 09, at I appreciate your excellent example of where "Sorry to bother you" fits. Both the situation and the place in the message that you suggest are fine suggestions.

I apologize for my slow reply to your helpful comment. For a few days I was working where it is inconvenient to get on the Internet. Lynn Gaertner-Johnston May 09, at Because I saw that the comment was from you, I did not react negatively to your "I'm sorry to make you read" opening, but it is a good example and a great point. Like you, I too might think "Then don't bother me!

I appreciate your sharing insights into what may be behind Kay's irritation. People say "sorry" too often as a matter of course. It's usually just a filler term of politesse and rarely a true expression of sorrow. For example, someone at work the other day said she was "sorry" about someone else's error.

I asked her, "What are you sorry for? It's not your fault. I should have realized that she was not literally sorry. Diane May 16, at When my elderly father would tell me about something that was going wrong for him, I used to say "I'm sorry. You didn't do anything. I have learned to say instead "I am sorry to hear that. Lynn Gaertner-Johnston May 16, at May I ask, how do you end the letter like, "After everything I've asked you to do to assist me I hope didn't give you much burden. I just want her to know that I consider her time and effort as much as I hope I can get what I need.

But I can't get too emotional in a letter, you know. So I don't know I feel guilty asking our bookkeeper from one request to another, because some of the requests are not usually their "routine" job. Thank you very much. Lynn Gaertner-Johnston January 21, at Business Writing Talk, tips, and best picks for writers on the job.

Syntax Training Lynn Gaertner-Johnston. Subscribe By Email Have the latest posts delivered to your inbox! Good Word to Know: Add me to your TypePad People list. Surprising Reaction to "Sorry to Bother You" When I teach business writing classes, I often ask attendees about their pet peeves as readers.

Kay said something like this: I would appreciate your expertise. Can you get them for me please? I have a new assignment that I would be grateful for your help with. Can you please handle this for me? Great stuff as usual! I like your alternatives, too. I'm sorry to make you read another comment on this topic, but What do you think of the suggestion below?

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Idioms are those phrases that mean more than the sum of their words. Which made us wonder: Below, we asked translators to share their favorite idioms and how they would translate literally. The results are laugh-out-loud funny.

Tomaten auf den Augen haben. It refers to real objects, though — not abstract meanings. Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof. Die Katze im Sack kaufen. That a buyer purchased something without inspecting it first. Other languages this idiom exists in: We hear from translators that this is an idiom in Swedish, Polish, Latvian and Norwegian. A phrase that means a similar thing in English: Les carottes sont cuites! Translators tell us that there is a German version of this idiom too: Empurrar com a barriga Literal translation: Pagar o pato Literal translation: I am alive because of your help.

Muda Labudova Literal translation: Mi o vuku Literal translation: Iets met de Franse slag doen Literal translation: It means doing something hastily. Iets voor een appel en een ei kopen Literal translation: By Krystian Aparta They say that children learn languages the best.

Their best strategies distill into seven basic principles: Decide on a simple, attainable [ … ]. As she tells stories from her life as a Palestinian-American comedian with cerebral palsy, Zayid cracks with wordplay. Some of other funny idioms from Polish: How is it connected to that?

It means to be anxious, uncertain and afraid. And many many others: Languages are so wonderfully illogical sometimes at a first glance, that is. Often just abbreviated to the first half. I think wolves features quite prominently in idioms; I would be interested to hear if people know of others.

I have heard of this one in Italian too:. It denotes someone who appears calm and nice enough, but really is a mean or bad person. It is something in front of your eyes everyone else sees but you.

I guess the writing on the wall is a match. English has the same idiom. This is in Portugal. The meaning is pretty much the same, although the posted version expresses even better the extremes brazilians will go to make do with the resources at hand.

Since the pronunciation of both versions are very similar, most people in Brazil thinks the phrase posted in the article is the original version. So the version posted is actually an evolution of the expression. Reblogged this on Mytutorblog's Blog. It means indeed that one who had done someting wrong betrayed himself but usually it has nothing to do with conscience.

In most cases idiom is used when that person just make some stupid mistake revealing his guilt — even and maybe especially when he is absolutely unashamed.

Same in french too: To have noodles all around your ass Which means to be lucky. Give birth so that we can baptize Meaning: OMG; French Canadians have some good ones! Interesting that similar to Tamil language, Russians have couple of idioms connected with water and they mean something about relationships. Reblogged this on Eve Proofreads. Reblogged this on Suneetha Speaks and commented: We have this constant debate about literary translations against free translation.

Cat crying over mouse What it means: Reblogged this on Devon Paleo. Reblogged this on TeachingEnglishNotes. Reblogged this on The Rockstar Anthropologist.

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New talks released daily. Be the first to know! Language How to learn a new language: By Kate Torgovnick May. Adler commented on Jan 23 Sam Brightbart commented on Jan 23 I have heard of this one in Italian too: Ah yes, of course!

It exists in English too: Berthe commented on Feb 5 Natalia Awgulewitsch commented on Jan 23 Chad commented on Feb 12 D Koenig commented on Mar 25 Beatrix Ducz commented on Sep 28 Beatrix Ducz commented on Nov 10 Ueritom commented on Dec 14 The second portuguese expression is wrong.

And Russian has the literally the same idiom about buying a cat in the bag as German and Polish. Tornike Mzhavia commented on Jan 23 Ang Angelova commented on Jan 23 Haha I love this! Here are some random french canadian idioms: Take yourself a log Meaning: And one French from France that I love: Dont push granny in the nettles! Didier Pampouneau commented on Jan 23 Eve Proofreads commented on Jan 23 Suneetha Balakrishnan commented on Jan 23 Mei Mei Ng commented on Jan 23 Like our crocodile tears: Yeah, crocodile tears exist in Hungarian too.

Svetlana Urisman Englishteachingnotes commented on Jan 23 Post was not sent - check your email addresses!