I was going to write a post about my disdain for the phrase “Please Advise”, but we had a little round-table discussion at dinner the other night and I found two other phrases that are equally nails-on-the-chalkboard-sound cringe inducing.
But first, let me start with the title phrase: Please Advise.
It may be one of the worst lines I’ve ever read in emails. Here’s an example: “I’m having trouble understanding your expense report for 8/11/12. Please advise.” What I actually read then I see that is, “I’m having trouble understanding why I’m such a douchebag. Please advise.” It just sounds so condescending to me. Like, I already know what you’re talking about, I just want to make you feel like an idiot for not explaining it in the way I want you to. Well, guess what? You sound like an idiot too. Next time you want to write please advise, consult your phrase thesaurus (if there isn’t one of these in existence, let me know. I’ll create one.) and choose a better phrase. Let’s eliminate please advise from our vocabulary forever.
It is what it is.
This is another phrase that seriously irritates me. While “Please advise” is mostly used in business settings, “It is what it is” can be used in either. It’s one of my mom’s favorites. She has it on a shirt and on a plaque in the kitchen. I’m pretty sure that’s just to piss me off, though. Anyway, not only is it annoying, it doesn’t really make sense. I mean, of course it is what it is. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be what it is. Duh. This phrase goes along with “It’s whatever,” but that doesn’t irritate me enough to make it into this post. Just a side note. If you say it is what it is to me, you run the risk of being throat punched. You’ve been warned.
This was my dad’s contribution. Someone makes a statement (usually in an email chain with more than one recipient), and then ends with “your thoughts?”. To me, this is a really passive-aggressive way of saying, I’ve told you what we’re going to do and I’m just asking your opinion to make myself look good to the other people in this chain. They aren’t going to take your input and apply it to the situation. They’re probably going to say, “That’s a great point, but blah blah blah.” A virtual slap down, if you will. If you’re making a statement of what’s going to happen, and it’s already been decided, don’t ask for other people’s thoughts just to be politically correct. It just makes a really long email chain that I don’t want to read, that really isn’t getting anything done.
Well, there you have it. A short and sweet (sour?) list of the top three worst phrases someone can use. If you hear someone use this, please politely point out that they sound like an asshat, and suggest some other phrases they could use. Until those get on my nerves, too. But I’ll be sure to let you know when that happens.
(Image taken from someone else who also takes issue with please advise)