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Do you overuse ‘kind’ and ‘kindly’ in your communications?

Probably due to the influence of other languages, these words tend to be overused in communications in international organizations. I wonder why they are so popular when they are no longer used in the real world? You do, however, still hear ‘kindly’ used in a set formal phrase, such as “you are kindly requested to …..”.

They sound old-fashioned and formal (Oxford dictionary) and can be misunderstood as an indication of irritation! (“Kindly leave me alone!” or “Would you kindly submit this form, as we need to process it forthwith.”)

So, what can we use instead? English-sounding expressions!
The simplest replacement is ‘please’.

But we could also use ‘would/could/will/ you…’, ‘I would be grateful if you would ….’ ‘Could you possibly ….’ ‘Would you mind ……’.  

Just bear in mind, though, that ‘could’ is more informal than ‘would’.

Test yourself. How can you change these?

  1. Kindly confirm your availability for the meeting next week.
  2. Your kind reply is much appreciated.
  3. We are awaiting Ms Kelly’s kind clearance.
  4. As it is urgent, we would need you to kindly get back to us today.

Answer key

  1. Please confirm your availability for the meeting next week.
  2. I would appreciate your response.
  3. We are awaiting Ms Kelly’s kind clearance.
  4. As it is urgent, we would be grateful if you would get back to us today.

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Carol Waites (PhD)
Email:  carolswritingtips@gmail.com

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Presentation/editing by Christina O’Shaughnessy (editor)
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