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People who sign letter and emails "Bob and Jenny"
... they do my head in!
BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3739989
 10:11 am on Sep 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have several clients who are couples and when they contact me they sign off as above. In the email it is clear that only one of them is writing it, "I would like", "can I have", etc. They then go on to sign off as "Bob and Jenny".

I find it so annoying. How am I supposed to reply to this? How am I supposed to know which of them I am dealing with?

AFAIAC business email can only come from one person, or perhaps they actually type alternate letters on the keyboard? Does anyone else get annoyed by this or is it just me being a crotchety old B?

 

jsinger




msg:3740008
 12:43 pm on Sep 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

AFAIAC business email can only come from one person

Nah, I'm more bugged by people who use obscure acronyms that I have to look up :) I thought it had to do with insurance.

Why can't a communication come from several people. I see that sometimes on an important letter that is signed by a company executive and the CEO, to show it was approved at the highest level. Books are often collaborations, movies too.

Do you wonder whether Ben OR Jerry made that ice cream?

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3740032
 1:59 pm on Sep 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

My point is that if it comes from two people it should say "We would like" and "Can we have", etc. :(

They should not write singular and sign off plural.

[edited by: BeeDeeDubbleU at 2:00 pm (utc) on Sep. 7, 2008]

Lord Majestic




msg:3740033
 2:00 pm on Sep 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Solution - charge double the rate! :)

jdMorgan




msg:3740046
 2:31 pm on Sep 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Send two personalized replies --one to each-- making it clear that you don't know which one sent the e-mail... :)

Jim

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3740068
 4:29 pm on Sep 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Solution - charge double the rate!

Good idea!

Jane_Doe




msg:3740100
 6:13 pm on Sep 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

AFAIAC business email can only come from one person, or perhaps they actually type alternate letters on the keyboard? Does anyone else get annoyed by this or is it just me being a crotchety old B?

My husband and I do write letters occasionally together and sign both our names. Usually is has to do with school stuff for our kids. Many books, articles, screen plays, songs etc. have coauthors, why not letters?

weeks




msg:3740116
 7:12 pm on Sep 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

In journalism school, they professors would tease writers who wrote "they said," with "Unless it's, say, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir,'they' can't say it."

King_Fisher




msg:3740200
 12:11 am on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

That would be the least of my troubles!...KF

ronin




msg:3740292
 8:01 am on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

BDW, you really are a grumpy old sod, these days.

Look, when a couple envisage themselves as a bi-personal entity, that's a beautiful and precious thing in a sad, individualistic world.

Let them be, you auld curmudgeon.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3740323
 9:15 am on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Harrumph! Bi-personal entity my ****.

jecasc




msg:3740334
 9:29 am on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I find it more annoying when people sign "J. Doe", and I do not have a clue if its Jane or John Doe.

Or when customers in Spain sign Maria Juana Patricia Angeles Fernandez Domingo and I do not have a clue where the first names end and the family name starts. Or if all the names even belong to one person or if its 6 persons or three or whatever.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3740337
 9:42 am on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Maria Juana Patricia Angeles Fernandez Domingo

What a concidence, I know Maria too! ;)

alt131




msg:3740373
 11:31 am on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)


My point is that if it comes from two people it should say "We would like" and "Can we have", etc. :(
They should not write singular and sign off plural.

Agree! Agree! Agree!

... "bi-personal entity" - is that the modern-day version of "being of two minds" ?

"curmudgeon"
Wahoo! that's a word with lots of potential ;)

wheelie34




msg:3740387
 12:03 pm on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

maybe Bob IS Jenny at night?

I have a few customers who send mail that way, usually a sig file added to all outgoing messages, over time I have sent a few different, maybe even sarcastic replies such as

Hellos
Hi Guys
To 2 people from one person

As someone stated above, I have sent 2 replies with 2 different questions, that gets them on the phone, and yes, whoever holds the phone seems to be asking the boss (usually her in doors) every question I ask, sounds like an echo sometimes, my response then is to wait when there's a longish silence and reply

Oh, your talking to me?

piatkow




msg:3740409
 12:53 pm on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

What gets me is the new email notification that just says "Bob and Jenny" with no surname, comes from the new address and doesn't give the old one.

Old_Honky




msg:3740540
 4:17 pm on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree with BDW. I think that people who write joint "Bob & Jenny" letters have something lacking in their personality - it is to twee for words. "Bob and Jenny" party invites, Birthday and Christmas cards are OK but letters? What are they joined at the blooming hip?

LifeinAsia




msg:3740545
 4:24 pm on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

How am I supposed to reply to this?

"Dear BOBANDJENNY:"

ronin




msg:3740558
 4:48 pm on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

maybe Bob IS Jenny at night?

Hahahaha.

From Glen (and Glenda)

grelmar




msg:3741489
 9:00 pm on Sep 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

"Bob and Jenny"

When people send something to me signed like that, it instantly conjures an image of bimmer driving Yuppy couples in matching Ralph Lauren outfits. The kind of couple desperately in need of a Darwinian adjustment.

Signed: Grelmar
Taking curmudgeon to the next level

Old_Honky




msg:3742006
 2:50 pm on Sep 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

It is even worse when they bring the familly into it.

Love from Bob, Jenny, Alistair, Pixie Frou Frou, Rover, Tiddles and Tyson(The goldfish)

digitalghost




msg:3742227
 7:17 pm on Sep 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

First thing I thought of, people that say, "We're pregnant". Umm no. "We" might be having a baby, but "we're" not pregnant unless it's two pregnant women talking...

The other thought was that insecure people might sign a letter that way, reinforcing in their minds that they're together.

Jane_Doe




msg:3742332
 9:50 pm on Sep 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

We get letters and emails addressed to both of us all of the time - especially for kid's school stuff. I don't see what the big deal is in replying together. Then the recipient knows we have both read and acknowledged the letter.

One of the reasons I do it is that I've noticed at places like the school they take things more seriously if my husband's name is any requests, too. I know it sounds like it shouldn't matter, but it really is more effective.

I 100% agree on the "we're pregnant" being irritating. But personally I think it is okay to reply to something like a college counseling meeting email addressed to both parents with a "Yes, thanks for your time. We will both be there." signed John and Jane Doe.

D_Blackwell




msg:3742484
 4:59 am on Sep 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree that they should sign off as Bob or Jenny - though a full personal name and business name would be a much more professional finish.

If there were a nice way to point out the professional laxity they might instantly 'get it' - simply never realizing how it comes across to the recipient. (Or maybe they view the relationship as closer than it really is.) I/we get emails regularly from people that must think that they are our only customer, because they give us nothing to work with and we literally have to respond and ask for a full name, account number, invoice number - something.)

So long as curmudgeon is in tonight, I don't care for 'professional' emails that just launch into the topic. I like to be addressed. First-name, or Full Name, - whatever is most appropriate.

In part, it depends upon the relationship. For almost all professional correspondence I close with my full name and whichever website/business I am representing. (Maybe a phone number as well if you or the situation rates that.) Very regular contacts, people that I deal with all the time, staff - they all get a:

DB

That's all they need to know. Handle it.

I don't have one fixed signature. What you get depends upon who you are and our relationship. That especially includes the closing statement or salutation; an underrated and underused tool of expressing a parting attitude - a couple/three words that can have the power of a terse paragraph or glowing review.

I am very guilty of the we/I issue myself though, and sometimes (often) use them interchangeably in an email. We indicates the company/operation and is something of the 'imperial' we - since it d... well means I. And yet, when writing an email I sometimes want to make clear that 'I' is not just me - that 'we' have a lot on the line with you - delivery, price, delay..... (You personally and your company - you and y'all:))

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3742526
 7:39 am on Sep 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't see what the big deal is in replying together. Then the recipient knows we have both read and acknowledged the letter.

No, that was my whole point. If a letter or email is signed with both names and written in the first person singular then clearly only one of them wrote it. Which?

alt131




msg:3742563
 8:51 am on Sep 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I wasn't going to comment - but as the curmudgeon's are out ... ;)

A dual "response" works fine in print because the separate signature blocks and signature make plain each person really has signed off on the response. That is absolutely not the case with email (Barring those who send along a video showing both parties taking turns to type.)

There are cultural differences at play here, but where I am there is a major difference between a legally recognisable partnership and a private marriage. When partners/officers/authorised representatives of the first use "we" they bind the others. Marriage partners do not.

Hence

Dear M,
We can meet tomorrow at 10.
Freda and Fred

Is fine if Freda and Fred is a partnership - and one of them better be there, but not (barring a video from their spy camera) if Freda and Fred are simply married.

- I cannot be the only person who's ever listened (second-hand) to terse husband and wife cell-phone arguments about who was responsible for knowing the letter behind the fridge magnet - that appears to have slipped down and got kicked under the fridge sometime last week - was an appointment time for which one of them is now deemed "late"?

What I never get is why this is too difficult:
Dear X,
Fred has now confirmed tomorrow at 10 at your office is OK, so we'll meet you then."
signed Freda

It deals directly with the actual issue and uses plain language to tell the plain truth - without being formal if that's an issue.

But this intrigued me:
I've noticed at places like the school they take things more seriously if my husband's name is any requests, too. I know it sounds like it shouldn't matter, but it really is more effective.

Country-specific issue here, but where I am, make that statement to the school board (elected people, usually ordinary parents) and they would immediately investigate for gender-based or social-status-based discrimination. (The choice to accept a husband's word lends weight is a personal right - but here it is not OK for an organisation to impose that choice.)

Jane_Doe




msg:3742800
 3:28 pm on Sep 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Country-specific issue here, but where I am, make that statement to the school board (elected people, usually ordinary parents) and they would immediately investigate for gender-based or social-status-based discrimination.

It is too subtle to be investigated. I think it is simply an ingrained part of the neighborhood subculture I'm in that many people are not even consciously aware of. I think part of it is that there are a lot of stay at home, PTA moms and executive level dads, people like school staff just get conditioned, perhaps not even consciously, to the dads being the dominant parent. At the local schools, many of the women teachers and PTA moms still go by "Mrs." instead of "Ms", so I think there is just something of a more traditional, local mindset with regards to gender.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3742811
 3:45 pm on Sep 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

A dual "response" works fine in print because the separate signature blocks and signature make plain each person really has signed off on the response.

Good point!

Essex_boy




msg:3744026
 7:48 am on Sep 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I posted on here sometime back how I found email addresses that started blogsfamily@ really drove me nuts for some odd reason.

Maybe you dont you like to see their style of siging off as you dislike intensely what it implys or stands for.

vincevincevince




msg:3744054
 8:49 am on Sep 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Okay, that's enough bait to bring me out...
  • If you are not a business but you are purchasing B2B work, that's fine, but always remember you are expected to act as a business. That means using the well established protocols through which business is transacted.
  • If you are married and writing on a topic relating to your joint endeavours or arrangement, one signature is enough as it is binding on you both. Marriage isn't private and is the oldest and best legislated form of partnership known to man (your local law may differ slightly).
  • If your first name is not obviously male, please include Mr., Mrs., or Miss. before it as otherwise I won't know how to reply. This is taught from primary school level but somehow gets forgotten by many during university.
  • If you prefix your name with Ms. then unless it is really important to me I'll not even bother to reply. I don't bring my private political crusades into my work and neither should you. If I do reply it will be to "Mrs. or Miss".
  • If you have failed to allow sufficient time for the things which you wish to have done, please do not write to me expressing the great urgency of your project, it is your business management problem and not mine.
  • This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33 ( [1] 2 > >
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