Life Advice



Fourth Wedding Can Be As Fancy As Bride Wishes

Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin on

Is it appropriate for a business communication to include verbiage such as I would LOVE to see you and talk about XYZ or I'd LOVE to hear more about XYZ, rather than like or enjoy?

When confirming an arrangement to meet or talk, I receive responses such as fantastic!!! or see you tomorrow!!!! with four exclamation points. Traditional responses would be fine, OK or good. I have disagreed with all that effusion, as I think it is inappropriate. Especially between opposite sexes.

My examples are from a female to a male. I have never seen a woman use those terms with other women, nor a male colleague use those terms with anyone, male or female. But I know of one woman who does this with men. This woman has an advanced degree and is a CEO of a small company, and the correspondence is with people outside the company.

I think it is an embarrassment and unprofessional. Even flirtatious and sexist.

GENTLE READER: Or just naive. The concept of business casual has blurred, if not erased, contextual etiquette.

Much has been lost because of this, Miss Manners believes. Professional distance enables people to work pleasantly together without faking friendship. She cherishes the hope that remote work will have taught people to distinguish between the intimacy due to their families and the more distant respect due to their colleagues.



(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website,; to her email,; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)






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