Emails

I hope this email finds you well!

I just received an email from a person; an administrator at my school that began:

We hope this email finds you and your family healthy and well.

I’m not sure who the ‘we’ is referring to, but we’ll leave that alone.  This salutation is kind of like a lazy and redundant extension of the already too lazy ‘I hope this email finds you well’.  I for one don’t think I can take this greeting in any form ever again.  Yes, that’s overly dramatic, but if they are going to write lazy email headings then I am entitled to a dramatic response.  

So, here goes!  

I don’t know who brought this email expression into COVID vouge, but it’s gone too far.  I salute the person who early on in the pandemic sent an email sincerely hoping their note arrives to a friend, family member, or acquaintance with them actually in good health.  Some well-read emailer went into the archives of letter writing and pulled “I hope this letter finds you well” from the Jane Austen era jackpot of their memory.  Imagine being the first person to read “I hope this email finds you well” in 2020.  That would feel so heartfelt, I imagine that the 1st person to receive that inscription on a 2020 email was so impressed with the sincerity of the author, that they in turn used the same phrase in their next email.  The following reader, equally impressed begins to use it as well, and now here we are all these months later with “I hope this email finds you well” still spreading like…

***This is where I have a passionate discussion with our cranky editor, and we come up with a compromise…the compromise being a mid-post editors note.***

***Editor’s Note: Carrot’s views do not necessarily express the views represented by  theDIHEDRAL.***

Here we are all these months later with “I hope this email finds you well” still spreading like COVID-19 in the U.S. under the Trump administration.

We need to put a stop to this madness, “I hope this email finds you well” has lost any semblance of sincerity, and now comes off as an apathetic attempt to sound compassionate in these truly miserable times.

Although my attempt at summoning humor may seem callous, in all actuality I’m here to help.  And so, I offer you emailers from around the world 10 alternatives to “I hope this email finds you well”.

  1. Don’t even issue a greeting, just tell me what you need to tell me.
  2. Hi or Hi [Name], (It’s a simple greeting that achieves the minimal standards of common social interactions)
  3. HEAR YE HEAR YE!  (A classic announcement pronouncement, all caps or it doesn’t count!)
  4. Use a bio complete with where you went to school/birth city like they do for athletes.  (And now from The University of Colorado at Boulder weighing in at 12.8 stones with a background in music, but a degree in education it’s a message from BILL in accounting. {***I had to bring in something about rocks or climbing or surely Cranky Editor would have junked this entire post, hence stones and Boulder, it’s not much, but it should allow me to achieve the green light! ***})
  5. Dear [Name], (Nothing wrong with this true classic, if it’s an especially balmy day, feel free to drop a Dearest [Name], the reader will appreciate that!)
  6. Hello, or Hello [Name], (Is ‘Hi’ or ‘Hi [Name]’ too informal for you?  Is ‘Dear’ or ‘Dear [Name]’ too formal?  Why not split the difference and go with ‘Hello’ or ‘Hello [Name]’?  It might not be casual Friday, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get a little loose with the salutation!)
  7. I am trying to strike a warm and respectful tone, but I don’t know how? (That is called the refreshing wind of honesty, your reader will appreciate that!)
  8. IF YOU’RE THE ONE DRINKING MY DIET COKE, THEN I HAVE SOME STRONG WORDS FOR YOU!!!  (No one wants to read emails by Bill from accounting.  Everybody wants to read emails full of drama.  I present the ol’ bait and switch, bring them in with some drama, and take them out with a warning about fraudulent emails.)
  9. Freeze Gopher OR As you wish, (Using a line from Caddyshack or The Princess Bride to open an email is always encouraged and acceptable, no other films nor quotes would be tolerated under proper email guidelines presented in The Proper Email Guidelines Guiding Guide of 2020.)
  10. Alex Honnold here sending a special message while free soloing in Yo-Semites.  Just joking everyone, it’s Bill from accounting.  (Classic Bill, what a jokester!)

So, whether you’re Bill from accounting, Alex Honnold emailing from Yo-Semites, or anyone else with email access, we’re all in this for the long haul.  Let’s not make it worse by hoping that our emails find each other well.  Let’s make it better with something as simple as a “Hello” or “Hello [Name]”.

Best Regards,

Carrot


Carrot (Writer)

48 Replies to “Emails”

  1. Dearest Carrot! 🙂

    Amen! Excellent post. It’s like “Peace” or “Peace Out.” It doesn’t say, “Halllujah, let’s make the world a better place by giving it a chance Anymore.” It’s lost all intensity of meaning, is now a salutation. Aloha. Shalom. Peace. I Hope This Finds You Well. Heck, go the Charlotte-from-her-web route, “Salutations.” At least I can then play Wilbur and “Salu-what?” back. The pandemic’s not gotten any better, though the initial shock and awe 4-wheel drive rumbles of surprise Have moved through, and it’s not about survival to me. It’s about adaptation and thrival. Heck, I do not expect a new normal. I expect a straight up eFace to Face facing of things, and moving forward to email what you are going to express. You know, with substance and value rather than Betty Boop’s sheepish figure-eight foot-bait circles. “I hope this finds you well.” Maybe even Bill from Accounting understands. “Freeze Gopher” works, or Hey, are you in the pool or the pond. “I hope this finds you well.” Yes, on the 1st few, wow I thought that person was an ass, though now I’m reconsidering that… until the 10th email, and “DOOD (or ETTE) ICUS. Vinyl is almost gone, so I really don’t know if you understand you’re being a broken record. If not. Turn the thing off.”

    P.s. an email just came through opening with, “Jordan, I hope this finds you and yours healthy, hopeful, and in good spirits.” What?!! It is WAY too early in the day for that last word. “Hopeful”?? I don’t smoke the narcotic of hope. Easier to try and kiss a promise. Why don’t they just open up with something that grows in the dirt?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jordan…this is perfection!!! I like to think of Charlotte getting a piece of trash from Templeton and having to make a huge message…”I hope this web finds you well”. Not sure Wilber would have lasted a day in that alternate universe!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 Thanks! I think you are dead on the money there about Wilbur, Carrot! Charlotte would have to have 4 screens… er, I mean webs.

        Charlotte’s friend comes along and says, “Charlotte, I get the 2nd screen/web Home Office gig during the shutdown, though I think you may have embraced it… too far. 14 screens? I think you’re at Home Lair Level now.” “No No NOPE! I need room for Templeton’s trash message.”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You are right. How could any of us be “well” with all the S— going on in the world. It is like the old in person greeting…How are you doing?, where nobody ever hears or waits to hear the reply. S—- thanks, how ’bout you.? The truth is, we are all lost for words right now. Few of us have any real exciting news (health or otherwise) to share, so we go with the trite. Likely better to say…please reply if you are still able. And, can’t you wait for the Christmas E-mails and letters this year………….

    Liked by 4 people

    1. ‘Please reply if you are still able’ has to be the best possible way to start an email. I haven’t even thought about Christmas cards and emails yet…perhaps it’s time for me to move on to acceptance?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope. Acceptance is complicit. Maybe reply…I’m s—–! Thanks for asking. I think we can all try something different and perhaps break this cycle of chaos. (Insert trite sign-off, here). Allan

        Liked by 3 people

  3. The rant I absolutely needed this morning. Cut out the bulls**t. Just get to the point. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Keep emails short. Get to the point. Then get on with the better things in life lol…

    Lol at the comments mentioning Christmas cards… those ones that get left on desks with only a signature, including for people who have left for vacation for the month… I don’t understand the point, just save the paper waste! I don’t even know your signature so who is this card from?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I hope this comment finds you well! Ha ha. I have felt like such a b**** for not using a greeting (or closing) such as this and just getting down to business. So i started adopting the sentiment in case i was perceived as being too callous. I feel liberated after your post. I’m going back to being a callous B. Another one that I hate is “please find attached…”. Why not just say what you mean–I’ve attached_____ to this message or something similar?
    In all fairness, i DO hope you and cranky editor and everyone else are doing ok. I miss you all. Wish you could be here in Ruiodoso enjoying the highs in the 80’s, lows in the 50’s and 30 % humidity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rhonda, that sounds so perfect!!! I love your email style, I think you’re right, someone doesn’t have to ask us to find something attached, this isn’t a scavenger hunt! Good call!

      Like

  6. Lmao… a highly entertaining post!
    As one of those desperately sincere people guilty of serially opening email threads with “I hope you and yours are well” for a long time before COVID, I may need to rethink.
    Unfortunately, this isn’t formula for me, I genuinely care. I come into contact with colleagues, employees and friends who are having bad days through stress/grief etc. 2020 has been exceptional for these but not exclusive. Humans aren’t robots and life issues remain the most likely cause for changes in performance.
    As an employer and (I hope) decent human being, I prefer to be aware of what is going on before throwing more tasks on someone’s to-do list.
    Like we can switch channels away from obnoxious TV shows, people can skip by this if all is well or perhaps lob a polite “yup, all great thanks” and for a gold star “how’re yours?”
    However, on the off chance something is amiss, it’s an opportunity to raise an issue.
    Thanks again, I did chuckle!
    C.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are right…we need to give a special shout out to those who actually care. I feel like you were robbed of an otherwise fantastic greeting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lmao… I know right!
        Now I’ll have to think up a new caring opener dammit! 😝😂

        Hmmm… let’s see, “how’re ya hanging” can get awkward with the older generation, “noticed you were off recently…” mildly creepy with a side-order of guilt. “What have you been up to?” or “been up to anything fun?” This one is fun for messing with staff! Has the same effect as seeing a cop behind you… instant guilt for no reason. Overall, unproductive but very amusing.

        Think this might need more thought… 🤔

        C.
        X

        Ps not sure what I’m laughing at more here, trivialising a pandemic into our personal inconvenience or the wicked take on trite phrases!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. He did not learn business communication from me. That kind of pacifying formulaic goodwill opening belongs ONLY in a bad news message. When I read the line, I thought you were being fired. That being said, Bear, Teddy and I hope this comment finds you well. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Martha, I like the thought of opening an email that starts off… “I hope this email finds you well” being followed by bad news. It’s like the “you’re going to want to be sitting down for this” of emails.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s excellent, Martha. It brings to bear the compliment sandwich. That thing when someone comes in to motivate you, and they do, though then they say something to take it away… to which as they are walking out… “Thanks for wasting your time coming to my office to redundantly set up and then balance out your own fraction. 1 over 1 is 1. Need some TP to go with that waste?”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yup, the only thing recognized is that they confused the restroom door with one’s office door. “Dood/Doodette, go take your dump in the proper room. I was raised by savages, though at least we knew better than to soil the nest. Geez.” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad you said that. I tend to be quite blunt and seldom include salutations, but of late forcing myself to use them for fear people might think me uncivilized or crass. I guess I can drop them again? . Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I also don’t like people being elequent at the expense of my time. But, when I give such a comment, it is sincere. So, I’m not happy with your generalization

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Makes sense…I think those with a reputation for sincerity would have a tough time sounding anything but. Our imaginary “Bill from Accounting” could learn a lesson or two about sincerity!

      Like

    1. There is so much packed into these four sentences, with a tragic and twist ending. I’m pumped that you liked the post, and I’m fortunate to be speaking to someone who plays the harp, that is such an amazing instrument! But the loss of your teachers partner really sad. I hope your teacher is doing okay, that is a loss that is so difficult to overcome!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your blog is interesting.. I’m gonna follow you ☺

        Like

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