Thursday, July 3, 2008

"Excuse Me" in Writing and Speaking

I've mentioned before that I advertise for new ESL students on I never put my phone number in the advertisement, just my email address. If potential students want to contact me for English lessons, they have to email me first.

I received an email inquiry today with an interesting greeting. The writer wrote, "Excuse me" as his greeting. I've received hundreds of email from English language learners and this was the first time I've read this introduction.

Of course, a more appropriate email opening is something like "hi" or "hello" or "good day" (although emails with "good day" are usually from scammers), etc.

I was thinking about this "excuse me" email greeting and although it's not conventional, it really does seem to a polite way to begin an email. I receive so many emails from potential students, people who have viewed my websites, friends, family, businesses, and on and on. I get a little overwhelmed with all the email sometimes.

So "excuse me" just seems like a fair greeting. (Of course, I am not recommending this greeting in emails. It's more appropriate for speaking situations. And if I end up working with this person, it will be something we discuss.) It just seemed right today.


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