Janet Miles, CAP-OM (janetmiles) wrote,
Janet Miles, CAP-OM

To follow up to yesterday's post

(I actually wrote the e-mail first, then posted the poll because I had struggled so much with the phrasing.)

ETA: Because context matters, the background here is that faculty member X dropped in to ask about a problem he was having with software product Y. The person he wanted to talk to was in a meeting, so I took a message. end of added context

I went with, "Could you call X about Y, please?"

Here's how I reasoned it.

"Could" rather than "Would" -- "Would you call" sounded, in my head, like an instruction to do so, whereas "Could" had, for me, the connotation of a polite request that understood the co-worker might not have the time to make another phone call.

"call..., please" rather than "please call" -- the former, again, sounded in my head like a polite request, where the latter sounded to me as if I were exasperated because I'd made the same request several times before.

Huh. I just realized that if the person who needed to be called had been of a higher perceived status than my coworker or had conveyed a sense of urgency, I probably would have written, "Please call X about Y".

For the future, I may avoid the whole thing by moving to something like, "X called with a question about Y. His/her number is Z. Thanks!" and simply assuming the contact would be made.

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.