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So I sent an email to a Prof. asking for an invitation letter for a position. Now I receive his reply, and I am fascinated by the exactitude and precision in his reply. It is obvious that he has taken time to read the position flier exactly. So he has a clear mind about the requirements, the deadlines, etc.

I want to thank him and thanks his thorough considerations, his exactitude, his precision. What should I say? What is the most idiomatic way to do so? Here are some suggestions. Which one is better? Or, you might have better suggestion?

  1. Thanks for your exactitude?

  2. Thanks for your thorough considerations?

  3. Thanks for your precision?

  • Hi @sasan, thanks for the interesting question. Just one comment, though, "consideration" is more commonly used as a non-count noun. Saying "considerations" sounds a little awkward. – Karlomanio Nov 5 '18 at 16:46
  • @Karlomanio Would you mention a reference for your view? – Sasan Nov 6 '18 at 10:46
  • There are other uses of consideration that are considered count, but this one is considered non-count. From the Learner's Dictionary, learnersdictionary.com/definition/consideration 1 [noncount] : careful thought : the act of thinking carefully about something you will make a decision about You should give some serious consideration to your retirement plans. After careful consideration, he agreed to their requests. Her suggestion is still under consideration by the committee. [=the people on the committee are still thinking about and discussing her suggestion] – Karlomanio Nov 6 '18 at 15:25
  • Thank you for meeting my expectations so thoroughly. Thank you for the thoroughness of your reply. Thank you for such a thorough reply. The person was thorough, not exact or precise – Lambie Nov 8 '18 at 20:15
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The word meticulous comes to mind, for example:

"Thank you for your meticulously detailed reply",

or simply:

"Thank you for your meticulous reply",

These would express gratitude for what you feel to be the professor's exceptionally careful attention to detail. However, there is also a question of tone. If I were writing thanks, I would be wary of 'going over the top' - seeming sycophantic, or appearing to attempt flattery.

I think I would restrict myself to:

"Thank you for your detailed reply".

Or maybe:

"Thank you for your helpfully detailed reply".

Which both seem less emotive, and more businesslike, to me.. as if I would naturally expect the professor to be as precise has he has been, while expressing gratitude for his professionalism.

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    I am not entirely sure if meticulous is entirely the right sentiment for precision, but to the extent that it might help your answer I would guess that meticulousness is a particularly good inflection for a context of gratitude and this book has an interesting exemplary sentence which may help to demonstrate the point. – Tonepoet Nov 4 '18 at 8:42
  • @Tonepoet.. thank you for the example! This is purely personal.. I prefer my English to be as plain as possible, and tend to write as I speak. So I would find it hard to use 'meticulousness' .. simply because I couldn't get my tongue round it! – Robin Betts Nov 4 '18 at 10:41
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    To me 'meticulous' is too negatively connotated for being in a positively frame reply. – johann_ka Nov 6 '18 at 15:40
  • @johann_ka Thanks for pointing this out - it truly surprises me. There must be a cultural distinction here - in my part of UK English language culture, there is no negative connotation of say, 'pedantry' or 'officiousness' , which is what I imagine you might mean. – Robin Betts Nov 8 '18 at 6:53
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    Right, well, if the professor lectures on archaeology, the phrase could hit the mark. "meticulously detailed reply" sounds pretty as a description to a friend about a reply but not pragmatically suited to a general mode of expressing a thank you. Generational? Hmm. Probably more situational. :) – Lambie Nov 9 '18 at 13:50
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The OP wrote: I am fascinated by the exactitude and precision in his reply.

I write: We generally might say thorough here, not exact or precise.

  • Thank you for your thorough reply.

  • Thank you for the thoroughness of your reply.

  • Thank you for replying so thoroughly to my question.

  • I appreciate your taking the time to send me such a thorough reply.

One would want to avoid qualifying a professor's answer as precise or accurate or any adjective that sound like those. That could even be taken as insulting.

The point is that she or he took the time to answer your question in full.

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I think your option 2 is the strongest based on your stated intent.

Here are some alternatives in that same vein, if they are helpful.

a) Thank you for your thoughtfulness.
b) Thank you for your carefully considered answer.
c) I appreciate the effort you put into crafting an answer.

If you can go with more a slightly longer version (a good way to indicate sincerity and escape what looks like a rote response), you could add a second sentence like:

Your time and your expertise offered me a unique perspective on [the topic].

Some such explanation of the actual benefit you received can make the statement much more personal.

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You should consider painstaking.

Thank you for your painstaking response!

ODO:

painstaking
ADJECTIVE
Done with or employing great care and thoroughness.

‘painstaking attention to detail’

Usage examples:

Google Search for "painstaking response"

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First of all this question will inevitably have a personal taste component, rather than an objective answer. In that respect, like the previous answer, may I suggest you use "Thank you" instead of "Thanks" in your reply - it sounds slightly better to me.

One option I would put forward is to separate the thanks from a more elaborate expression of appreciation: while I agree you don't want to end up with flattery, I think it is valid to express one's gratefulness about something which exceeds expectations. Something like (taking your examples as a starting point):

Thank you for your detailed reply, I sincerely appreciate your thorough consideration of my request

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One way to thanks such a person is:

  1. Thank you for being so scrupulous.

  2. Thank you for your scrupulous reply.

But I am not sure which one is the better choice.

The following sense is to the point:

scru·pu·lous (of a person or process) diligent, thorough, and extremely attentive to details.

"the research has been carried out with scrupulous attention to detail"

synonyms: careful, meticulous, painstaking, thorough, assiduous, sedulous, attentive, conscientious, punctilious, searching, close, minute, rigorous, particular, strict

"scrupulous attention to detail"

What do you think?

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