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I'm curious to know if it is incorrect to say, "I'll get back to you at MY soonest opportunity", or should I say, "I'll get back to you at THE soonest opportunity"?

closed as off-topic by Scott, JonMark Perry, jimm101, Edwin Ashworth, Skooba Jul 9 '18 at 15:39

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  • I didn't know til now as soon as possible is not "polite enough", let alone asap... – Kentaro Tomono Jul 2 '18 at 18:03
  • It is not incorrect to say "my soonest." It is perfectly natural. In my opinion, it is better than "the soonest," which seems suspiciously vague, like you're saying it that way in order to intentionally imply that outside you have no control over your schedule, thus laying the ground work for an excuse later on for not getting back with them back. – Billy Jul 2 '18 at 18:15
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Whichever you feel most comfortable with but I believe "earliest" rather than "soonest" to be more grammatically correct. Alternatively you can simply say "I'll get back to you soonest" which means the same thing but is less formal.

  • I agree with Ash--use "earliest", as in "earliest opportunity". Back in the days when telephones were still comparatively rare, people sent telegrams, not e-mails. Telegraph companies (e.g., Western Union) charged by the letter, so people would write "soonest" (7 letters) rather than "at the earliest opportunity" (24 letters and 3 spaces). An apocryphal story about the briefest telegraphic correspondence in history has a writer (supposedly Victor Hugo) inquiring about the sales of his new book by sending the message "?" to his publisher, and receiving "!"--book selling very well--in reply. – tautophile Jul 2 '18 at 18:10
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I agree with Ash--use "earliest", as in "earliest opportunity". Back in the days when telephones were still comparatively rare, people sent telegrams, not e-mails. Telegraph companies (e.g., Western Union) charged by the letter, so people would write "soonest" (7 letters) rather than "at the earliest opportunity" (24 letters and 3 spaces) to save money. Hence the term "telegraphese". The ultimate in telegraphese is this: It's said that Victor Hugo, wanting to know how his new novel was selling, cabled his publisher the single character "?". The book was a best-seller, so publisher cabled Hugo back the single character "!".

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