Terminology, etiquette, and conventions used when doing business in English.

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68
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9answers
25k views

Can “thanks in advance” be considered rude?

Some argue that because “thanks in advance” is written before any help has been offered, it adds an expectation of help and thus can be considered presumptuous. Is this reasonable? Would it be ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

Use of “deadpool” as a verb

I recently came across this term while examining a set of properties in a JSON feed relating to a startup company: ... "deadpooled_year": null, "deadpooled_month": null, "deadpooled_day": null, ...
10
votes
4answers
29k views

Meaning of “reach out to somebody”

The dictionary explains this as: To show somebody that you are interested in them and/or want to help them The explanation indicates the subject of the sentence is the one that offers help, but ...
9
votes
2answers
251 views

Is the word “clinic”, as in a basketball clinic, a natural and “warm” choice compared to alternatives such as “camp” and “program”?

I'm developing a website for a client who provides physical education programs for elementary schools. The client frequently uses the word clinic to refer to his more targeted sports programs for ...
8
votes
4answers
12k views

Appropriate to start business email or letter with just “Dear,”?

Is it appropriate to start a business letter or email with just "Dear,"? I specifically refer to the case where there is no noun following "Dear,", so no "Dear All,", or "Dear Mr.,", or "Dear ...
8
votes
5answers
15k views

What is the meaning of the expression “We can table this”?

This came up in an email discussion - we are arguing about the merits and demerits of a certain approach, and I mentioned what I thought was a drawback to a scheme. To that, my colleague replied : ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

What is a one-person business called?

I'm wondering what is the term for the person, that is doing business on his/her own and has tax liability. It's different in each country, I'd like to know how they are called in USA and UK.
6
votes
3answers
8k views

Which preposition to use in “communication [over, by, through, via, with] email”? [closed]

Which of these is most correct, and why? Our team kept in constant communication over email. Our team kept in constant communication by email. Our team kept in constant communication through email. ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the best antonym for “Approve” in the context of approving a business-related application

I work a lot with business applications and traditionally I've used the word "disapprove" as the counterpart to application approvals (e.g. disapprove leave application, disapprove waiver). But I've ...
6
votes
3answers
229 views

“Space” as a synonym for industry, sector or business segment

When, and from where, did "space", as a synonym for industry, sector, or business segment, enter the language? For example, one wouldn't expect to read "His family made a fortune in the buggy whip ...
6
votes
1answer
444 views

Etymology of “gladhand” (truck hose coupler)

References for "glad hand" in its common meaning of "effusive but perhaps insincere greeting" seem easy to find [1], and it's easy to find definitions for the truck-hose-coupler meaning of gladhand ...
6
votes
6answers
4k views

Why “line of business” applications?

In software, why do we talk about line-of-business applications (sometimes abbreviated to LOB)? Why not just business applications? So it's useful to distinguish between general software (like email ...
5
votes
8answers
5k views

“Does it make sense?” or “Do you understand me?”? [closed]

Suppose I tell something to my companion and I want to make sure he understands me. I thought I may simply ask "Do you understand me?". But recently I heard that in such cases I should ask "Does it ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

When to use decline for polite refusal and when not to

In a business English class: One of my students said: "I decline your report." I said that was wrong, but I couldn't think of a concrete reason, or rule for when I can use decline as a polite ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is “premises” always plural?

On-premises ... On-premise I see these terms frequently used to describe software systems hosted within a company's datacenter vs. software systems hosted externally by a third party (in the ...
5
votes
1answer
140 views

OED Appeals: Antedatings of “headhunter”

The OED has made a public appeal for help in tracing the history of some English words, including: headhunter noun earlier than 1960 The tribal practice of decapitating enemies and ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Using “TM” for trademarked term - every time or just once?

I am writing an email announcement to my company's customer base, and I will be using a trademarked product name several times throughout the email. It seems awkward to use the TM every time I write ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

What does it mean to “pay X on the dollar”?

When I hear money laundry lingo in TV crime-series, people sometimes fence stuff for so and so much "on the dollar". What does it actually mean? And where does the expression originate from?
5
votes
4answers
17k views

Meaning of “catch you on the flip side”

I received an email from a coworker, and we're not that friendly. Actually, we're not friends at all, just two good colleagues. In his email, he wrote as his last sentence Catch you on the flip ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

An alternative to “stakeholder”

Here's a sentence taken from an executive memo, "Action item: get feedback from stakeholders on SuperDongle 9000". Is there something that can replace "stakeholder"? The word is not being used ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

What does the word “hacking” or “hacker” come from? [closed]

Is there a history behind the word "hacker" and "hacking"? Could it have anything to do with "hashing" i.e. using a hash function?
4
votes
1answer
5k views

“personal issue”, “private issue”, “personal affair”, or “personal business”?

I need to send my boss mail explaining that because of a personal issue I need to handle, I can’t attend the conference. Which of these phrases would best express that I have my own business to deal ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it bad behavior to add filler words such as “so”, “um” in business speak?

Sometimes when I speak with my fellows at work, I start my sentences with "so" or "um". I don't know if this a bad behavior in business speak or not? If so, how can I get rid of those filler words?
4
votes
3answers
194 views

the word “partner” in business situations

In business situations, is it acceptable to introduce a business partner as simply "my partner" or is it necessary to specify "my business partner"? I have seen both used and the issue seems to ...
4
votes
7answers
737 views

Antonym of “Cascade”

In our company, at the beginning of year, we have what is known as Goals Cascading. Essentially, the senior most people in the firm set goals for the entire firm and then the people at the next level ...
3
votes
4answers
547 views

Double Copula or “double is” in professional/technical writing

I am proofreading a professional, technical text written by someone else. In the text, I encountered, "But, the reality is is a..." My intuition says that this should be rewritten as, "But, the ...
3
votes
3answers
704 views

How to use “prospective offer” in sentence

How do you use prospective offer in a sentence? In this example, I would like to offer someone a deal or an agreement. We have a prospective offer for... We have a prospective offer to make ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

When can you start wishing people a good weekend?

In Belgian culture (and some others, I suppose) it is not uncommon to wish people a good weekend when you meet them on Friday. Not just when you go home after work, but also in the store around noon, ...
3
votes
2answers
441 views

Is there a better way of wording this? [closed]

Apologies if this question is off-topic. I've checked the FAQs for topics that are acceptable and 'word choice and usage' appears in the list. I'm working on a website redesign and would like to ...
3
votes
1answer
243 views

Where does the nounification of 'spend' come from? [closed]

For example, the estimated spend for Q3 is a million dollars.
3
votes
3answers
20k views

“Principal” vs “owner”

What is the business perception of identifying yourself as the Principal vs the Owner? I assume they are largely synonymous (please tell me if there are subtle differences, but in a small business ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Difference in usage of terms “company” and “firm”

In a meaning of officially registered and bounded business unit. Like "Microsoft" or "Apple" or "ZARA" or copy shop round the corner. In some books on management/entrepreneurship authors use both ...
3
votes
2answers
730 views

Is there a synonym for “satisfied customer” or “one who can testify”?

For example, I wish to borrow a book from someone. In order to assure that person that I will treat their book carefully, I want to refer them to someone I have already borrowed a book from in the ...
3
votes
2answers
74 views

“We help consumers pay less” vs. “Helping consumers paying less”

Since English is not my native language I can not decide which one of the following two sentences is better. We help companies sell more and consumers pay less. Helping companies sell more and ...
3
votes
4answers
276 views

How to say that something that was inappropriate for some particular purpose now works?

Say, that phones were not suitable as a payment medium, but now they are the best payment method. I think "cellphones finally fit for payment" implies they are now good enough, and not THE best ...
2
votes
5answers
5k views

“Out of the box” — when should I use this phrase?

I send a lot of unsolicited emails. In many of them, I ask to buy traditional advertising spots or to help conceive a non-traditional campaign. Oftentimes, I find myself describing these ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

“Firstname” or “First Name”?

In filling out forms, I'm starting to see a lot of this: Firstname: xx Lastname: yy Is it generally acceptable to join the words like that? Or should we be sticking to: First Name: ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

I am on “annual leave”?

This one has been bothering me the past couple of weeks. On many (most!) people's email auto-responders, when they go on holiday, they set it to something along the lines of: I am currently on ...
2
votes
3answers
14k views

Why do many forms ask for initials instead of full names?

I have seen a lot of forms that ask for the name (first name, middle name, last name) and then initials. Why does anyone want to ask for initials? Isn't initials the first letters of the name? For ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I change how to accomplish something once someone says “or something to that effect”?

I periodically get a broad description of how to perhaps solve a problem at work but then at the end of the email the phrase "or something to that effect" is included. Does that mean - 'just get me ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Periods after directional abreviation in address

I am creating a business card, and I need to put the address of the company on it. What is the proper way to write this address? 555 14th St NW, Atlanta, GA 55555 555 14th St NW., Atlanta, ...
2
votes
1answer
250 views

Using dashes vs. commas in business communications

Having settled into a new job in communications, I am faced with the issue of em dashes. Since I am quite partial to commas but my boss is more partial to em dashes, I can't help but wonder whether ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

What does “CP” stand for? (job name)

I saw a person had described his position as "CP at example.com" on Linkedin. Not someone who I know personally, but I had been in contact when he asked me to publish my Android application on this ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How should “The Cloud” be capitalized?

"We are migrating our core systems into (1) The Cloud ... or (2) the cloud ... or (3) the Cloud???" I've googled (Googled?) this and found the usual range of differing opinions but as yet no ...
2
votes
1answer
364 views

Business model based on commission charging

I'd like to know the correct expression to point out the essence of this business model. I'm talking about web servers that gather users (offering and consuming services) and that charge them ...
2
votes
5answers
192 views

Opposite of “to put a good word in for”? “Backstab” doesn't work

I know that when I have an associate who I think highly of and is very capable of performing the job (or person for a relationship) [s]he is pursuing, I will want to find the "recruiters" and put a ...
2
votes
2answers
322 views

Word or phrase for mere coincidence that brings happiness

I wish to state that my exposure to a certain area was a mere coincidence, and I am happy about the area. Moreover, I want to convey the idea that the incident was like a fairytale, something no one ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

“would like you to” vs. “please”

I am writing an email, in which I would like to ask for something but I don't want to be very direct. I came up with the following two constructions: In addition, I will not be receiving my ...
2
votes
1answer
637 views

Is it “Sales collateral” or “Sales collaterals”?

My question is whether you use the plural or singular form — or either. Is there perhaps also a different usage in the US and the UK?
2
votes
2answers
157 views

Why “buy authentic”?

Authentic means: “of undisputed origin, made or done in a traditional way”. But I’m confused because every product made had some origin from a previous product or idea. The way I see it, buy ...