The nine most annoying phrases in your inbox

How freelancers might accidentally wind-up their clients or anyone else they email at work is the upshot of a new study by Adobe.

The software giant has identified the most anger-inducing phrases that people use in work emails, having polled 1,000 office workers.

“Not sure if you saw my last email” is convincingly the most irksome phrase, with its poorly concealed, yet still technically polite dig at the recipient for missing (or not doing) something.

“Even though workers are willing to communicate so much electronically, it’s not always an elegant interaction,” reflected Adobe's Kristin Naragon.

“The number one most detested is that old passive-aggressive standby: ‘Not sure if you saw my last email’ [as] 25 percent of respondents hate[d] this one most.”

Not even half as many workers get worked up by the second-most annoying phrase – ‘Per my last email’ (13%), followed closely by the similar ‘Per our conversation’ (11%).

But the latter is almost as irritating to read as the more direct, questioning ‘Any updates on this?’ which came in a touch more annoying than the apologetic, ‘Sorry for the double email.’

The curt ‘Please advise’ is the next most disliked, making it equal in the annoyance stakes to ‘As previously stated’ (also chosen by 9%)  

The two least annoying phrases, but still enough to irritate a joint 6% of respondents, were ‘As discussed’ and, in another dig at those who’ve forgotten, ‘Reattaching for convenience.’

 

30th August 2018

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