Email Niceties

We write certain phrases in emails by convention, but perhaps “I hope you’re well” is overdone.

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A New York Times opinion writer pokes fun at the overuse of the phrase by showing a few examples. The emails are short and include ridiculous requests, for example, about a missing attachment or whether someone has rubber bands. Still, the writers apparently can’t resist asking about the receiver’s health.

In their responses, recipients answer the question, which of course, is not really expected. It’s like saying “How are you?” when passing someone in a hallway.

Image source.


  • What’s the value of this phrase and others in email and in person? How do you feel writing emails without something like it?

  • What’s your view of the phrase: expected, overused, or something else?

  • What other phrases in emails do you think might be overused?