Ah, good old office emails. What better way to convey to your coworker that you wish they would jump off of a cliff into a burning pit of lava than by masking that disdain in different passive aggressive phrases? Just kidding about the cliff part, but sometimes people can really get on your nerves. You can add inflection through the use of these phrases without being blatantly disrespectful or getting in trouble with HR. Being on the receiving end of any of these are not super fun, but you have to admit that these are pretty accurate. Here are 15 commonly used office email phrases and their actual translation.
1. “Per my last email…”
Translation: I literally just told you the answer to this.
Side note: I have both used and received this. However, one time when someone said it to me they had never actually sent out that “last email.” So before you get all high and mighty, you better check to make sure you did, in fact, send that email to them.
2. “Please advise”
Translation: I’m not even sure you know what you’re talking about so get your shit together before you try to waste my time.
3. “Going forward…”
Translation: I shouldn’t have to waste my breath saying this but please do not repeat that dumb mistake ever again.
4. “Let’s circle back on this.”
Translation: I absolutely cannot deal with this right now so I am hoping that you figure it out by the end of the day on your own.
5. “Thanks in advance!”
Translation: I’m aware you haven’t agreed to what I am asking you to do yet, but I am going to thank you right away so you can’t say no.
6. “According to my records.”
Translation: I am right because I am looking at the facts right now. I’m not wrong, you are and I will tell you exactly how you’re wrong.
7. “Please let me know if I misunderstood.”
Translation: I did not misunderstand whatsoever, you clearly did.
8. “Not sure if my last email was received…”
Translation: Why the hell are you ignoring me.
9. “As discussed…”
Translation: I don’t want to have this conversation again, and I want it on record that we spoke/agreed about this issue.
10. “To clarify…”/”To put more simply…”
Translation: Did you not get what I explained to you the first time?
Translation of the translation: Are you stupid?!?!?!?!
11. “In case you missed it…”
Translation: I know you didn’t miss what I said, but you aren’t doing what I said so I’m going to point it out again.
12. “All the best”
Translation: This conversation is over and good luck.
13. “As I’m sure you’re aware…”
Translation: You already know this. Why are we wasting time talking about it?
Translation: Not great. I hate everything that you’re saying to me right now but I know there is nothing I can do about it.
15. “Friendly reminder…”
Translation: I’m not sure how I became your babysitter but XYZ is happening and I need you to be ready in time.
Obviously being passive aggressive is not the way to go, especially in a professional setting, but at least we can all take a step back and agree that this is what people really mean when they use “polite” language with their office email phrases to try and mask their frustration. And let’s also admit how damn satisfying it is.
What are your favorite shady office email phrases to send out? Put them in the comments!
Young "professional," Providence College grad, above average procrastinator, reality tv enthusiast, high profile contributing member of society.