I have received an email from someone I admire. Is there anything wrong or unidiomatic about the following sentence? How would you say it?

It's a great honour to find myself being addressed/approached by (Name) himself.

A lot of thanks

  • Did you contact him first? Did he contact you first? Why is he getting in touch? – chasly - supports Monica Jul 15 '20 at 22:28
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    It sounds fine to me, quite formal. – Xanne Jul 15 '20 at 22:44
  • No. He contacted me as if out of the blue, probably on recommendation of a mutual acquaintance. – Supersup Jul 15 '20 at 23:16
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    Probably better to say, "It's a great hono(u)r to be addressed/approached by..." or "It's a great hono(u)r to receive a message from..." The simpler the better and more elegant. – Isabel Archer Jul 16 '20 at 1:58

It's difficult to say that "It's a great honour to find myself being addressed" is unidiomatic; I'd say rather that the idea of "a great honour" is somewhat incommensurate with that of "being addressed by someone considered as superior". For instance, it is not too unfrequent to have great personalities address someone in the public at a gathering of some sort or other: for such a person it might be a breathtaking moment as they feel suddenly they have to pull themself together so as to respond properly but still, this is a mere address; also, great personalities do address a lot of people by means of circulars in which the tone is personal, the idea in doing this being to make the readers feel important but again this is a mere address. If "addressed" is replaced by "approached", which could have implications of someone superior condescending to you, and moreover, if you are in a restricted number of persons having received that email, then the idea so formulated could be irreproachable and even more so if that number counts only yourself. Nevertheless, this is so only on the condition that the approach implies some subservience to yourself. If the aim of the email you received is to incriminate your behaviour, for instance, it is difficult to justify that you feel honoured, although that could still be the case given particular circumstances.

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