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    #1

    Reply in emails from Americans rude?

    Hi guys,

    short question:

    I usually start my emails with 'Dear Mr. XY' and 'I hope this email finds you in good health' as I was taught in school.

    Replies from Americans always start with my first name followed by a comma. Even if it's the first communication and business oriented.

    Does that mean, they are not thrilled about having to write me back or is that an American 'let's brake formal barriers early' kind of thing?

    My email would be:
    Dear Mr. Smith,

    I hope this email finds you in good health. Since I'm going to be in NY next week, I would like to know whether you had the time to meet.

    Best wishes,
    Jack

    Their answer would be:

    Jack,

    I forwarded the mail to my assistant. Write her, when you're here.

    John


    I'm not as polite as a French person, but this short communication is not clear to me as to how to understand it.

    Thank you!

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    #2

    Re: Reply in emails from Americans rude?

    Don't take that as any sort of insult.

    We aren't big on formalities. I do tend to give some sort of greeting when emailing someone for the first time. I will use a greeting more when emailing foreigners.

    If an email is directed at only one person, I will usually dispense with the "Name," at the start. The email heading makes it obvious who the email is for.

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    #3

    Re: Reply in emails from Americans rude?

    Emails in English do have a tendency to be less formal than letters and people use first names more quickly.

    • Member Info
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    #4

    Re: Reply in emails from Americans rude?

    Thank you Dave.

    Also, with European contacts I usually write them a short 5 sentences thingy, every three months, just to stay in touch, even if no project exists that has to be worked on.

    Is that a custom in the U.S. as well or should emails just be written when there is a specific need for something to be done?

    Thank you.

    Edit:
    Tdol thank you as well.
    But does that mean that the email in which I approach people can be less formal as well? Not with a CEO of course but with regular folks?
    Edit 2:
    i.e. does my formal email make me look old-worldly and silly, or is it perfectly fine?
    Last edited by tscherno; 06-Jan-2015 at 17:54.

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    #5

    Re: Reply in emails from Americans rude?

    That is not a custom in the US, unless you have formed some special bond with the person and consider it to be a friendship and not just a business relationship.

    If I am contacting someone for the first time, I will do a simple greeting (hello, good morning, etc.) and then a brief introduction ("I am the person responsible for XYZ on project ABC.") There is no need for anything more formal.

    There is nothing wrong with being more formal, of course. You are who you are.

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    #6

    Re: Reply in emails from Americans rude?

    Thank you.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Reply in emails from Americans rude?

    Tscherno, there is no need to write a new post to say "Thank you". Simply click on the "Like" button in the bottom left-hand corner of any post you find helpful. It saves time for everyone.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. Jill Dorchester's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Reply in emails from Americans rude?

    Back when business communication was done via typewritten letters dictated to a secretary and sent via "snail mail", the secretary was the person who filled in all the standard pleasantries in the letter. The boss would tell her "This is a letter to Robert Denby at Acme.....In answer to your letter of whenever, I've forwarded your questions to Mike Nelson, our Vice President of Export Sales. He will be contacting you soon....blah, blah, the usual boilerplate.... Sincerely." The actual letter would state "In answer to your letter of November 12," and the "blah, blah" would be replaced with "we thank you for your interest and look forward to doing business with you."

    With email, however, you are communicating directly with The Boss and he (or she) is typing his own responses. Email was designed to be direct and straight to the point, so most folks don't bother with standard pleasantries. It doesn't indicate rudeness; quite often the responses are short because the person is one of those hunt-and-peck typists and it saves time to be as brief as possible in their communications. They most likely won't be as brusque or abrupt in person.

    Just one word of advice - even back in the paper letter days, it wasn't standard practice in American business letters to refer to "finding you in good health." That is a sentiment you'd include in a personal letter to someone, not a business letter. Not to mention that today so many scam emails include those overly-friendly greetings and phrases...using them might raise a few red flags if you're contacting someone for the first time.

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    #9

    Re: Reply in emails from Americans rude?

    Thank you Jill.

    One last question concerning the subjunctive:
    In German and French, the correct use of the subjunctive usually shows that you are in a higher command of the language and I had the experience that my writing gets read more thoroughly because of it.

    Not saying that I use it correctly in English, but is that of any concern to Americans? Does it give you a subconscious plus as it does in those other languages? In Germany, a disapproval of the subjunctive seems to be slowly happening, that's why I ask. (I hate it. But I don't have an idea what a hashtag is for either, so I guess I'll just be silent.)
    Last edited by tscherno; 07-Jan-2015 at 02:52.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Reply in emails from Americans rude?

    I would keep the name, and dispense with the question about health unless it's pertinent.
    That might reflect my personal sensibilities. I don't agree with Rover that having your name automatically attached somewhere on the email is the same as being greeted (and there's no guarantee that your name appears there anyway).

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