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Some context: I was mailing an Irish contact of mine (I'm French), and I was asking if he would like me to bring some chocolate for our meeting. Answer was "chocolate would be mutely appreciated".

I've never encountered this idiom, and if I guess this can be somewhat similar to "very/deeply appreciated", I would like to know if there is some different meanings, since I don't really understand the use of "mutely" there (so appreciated that it leave you speechless?).

Thanks in advance.

  • I would guess it's either an error or a bit of punning. "Muchly appreciated" is a slightly archaic idiom. Have never heard/seen "mutely appreciated" before. – Hot Licks May 15 '17 at 12:40
  • ...or an autocorrect error for "mightily" appreciated. – Davo May 15 '17 at 12:43
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    Mutely appreciated is not a standard concatenation, so unless your contact was being creative or joking that is not what he said. My guess is mutually appreciated... – AmE speaker May 15 '17 at 12:48
  • I think the autocorrect/error explanations are probably correct in this context. "Mutely appreciated" could be meaningful in a context where audible appreciation would be the norm (such as applause). – Chris H May 15 '17 at 12:50
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about a typographical error. – Chenmunka May 15 '17 at 13:14
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mutely appreciated

This is not an established concept in English, so I can't give you an objective answer. However, I do think I understand what your colleague wants to tell you.

  • Mutely = I am not going to ask you to bring chocolate
  • Appreciated = ...but I would enjoy it if you did.

I think he's jokingly trying to avoid confirming that he wants them (so he doesn't seem overeager), but telling you that he would like them.

Another slightly different interpretation would be

  • Mutely = I will never say out loud that I like them
  • Appreciated = ...but I do like them.

Pretty much the same meaning, slight difference in interpretation. But the joke stays the same.


Edit In case you think it's a typo, these are the closest English equivalent phrases that I can think of:

  • Much appreciated
  • Hugely appreciated
  • Duly appreciated
  • Dutifully appreciated (very different spelling, but it sounds similar enough. Maybe he is repeating something he heard said and misinterpreted it)

Edit

The comments seem to think this is a typo, and he intended to say "mutually appreciated".
However, I don't think this makes sense in the context you provided. "Mutually" means for both parties, which in the context of a conversation is you and him. Why would he say that both you and him would appreciate it? You were asking him if he would like it.

It's not impossible that he meant "mutually appreciated" but used it wrongly. But if we can't trust the writer of the message to use correct words, then no one can be sure of anything anymore and the entire question becomes impossible to answer.

  • I'll tell you something it took me a long time to understand. When a question has a zero net vote, and looks like it is likely to get closed, it is frowned upon here to answer it. (You can always write a comment, though.) – aparente001 May 16 '17 at 5:29
  • @aparente001: Is that specific to English.SE or SE in general? I tend to browse the others (mainly SO) a lot and have not heard of that unspoken rule. I've seen plenty of valid questions with no upvotes just yet, but maybe SO has a bigger volume of questions and I'm used to seeing fresh questions? – Flater May 16 '17 at 6:54
  • In my experience, the culture here against writing an actual answer to a question that will probably get closed is particularly strong. If you're in doubt, though, I'd encourage you to look around on ELU Meta, or ask a question there. – aparente001 May 16 '17 at 17:04

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