Tuesday, November 3, 2009

WTF?

KR, he says.

Right there at the end of the email he sent looking to introduce his PR firm. Just before his name. KR.

I have no idea what it means.

Keith Richards? Keep Right? Keep Rocking?

And then it dawns on me. “KR” is short for Kind Regards. This man, this abomination of a PR man who is looking to make a good first impression on me and my firm, not ONLY uses the most fatuous and over-gentrified closing since “Yours most humbly affectionate” bit the dust in the sixteenth century but he can’t even be arsed to write it all.

Kind regards is foul enough. Victorian and stilted in its vagueness and yet capable of starting an arms race of affection. Someone signs “Kind regards”, and then someone has to beat them with “KindEST regards” and the whole thing gets totally out of control with “My most kind regards” and “Yours with the kindest of regards” and “Prostrating my most humble self on your bidet to offer the very kindest of my kind regards”.

Or the person who tries to play the strong silent type and writes merely “Regards” with no indication of how kind they are.

And exactly how kind are the regards? I mean, would you donate your house to me, or just a few bucks for a coffee? Do they have no monetary element redeemable? Are we talking pouring your cup of tea on me if I was on fire, or saying “I hope the burns get better soon” as I am carted screaming in agony into the ambulance?

Kind regards. Could you vague that up for me a bit?

For added Victorian style – because nothing says polite like a group of people who used to encase their privates in metal to prevent “self abuse” – you can for no apparent reason capitalise everything. “Kind Regards.” It’s especially good if you wrongly put a capital R on regards but forget to put a capital on your own damned name.

Or just dispense with the piddling matters of letter altogether and go with “KR”. How informal! How, well, how little like you even care slightly about the opinion of your reader. Nothing says “can’t be arsed” like not bothering to finish your words.

In fact, why not just close your email with “Yeah, whatever”? I’m sorry, we’re being modern now - that mean disregarding the most basic of niceties and ease of reading – let’s use “YW”.

Or not. Look, I have had it up to here with clever buggers from PR and marketing telling the world that correct grammar and capitalisation are “dated”, that we should be mixing it up with txtspk outside of texts. The first purpose of writing something is not to be funky, but to be readable. You are writing so other people can understand what you have said.

Ignore PR twatboy in the corner desperately trying to justify his consultancy fee by spewing turdery and write correctly. Have the courage to make it look like your company is smart enough to master basic communication. Capitalise correctly. Use punctuation. Go fecking crazy; care about your customers’ reading experience. Or prepare to have people take one look at your garbage and conclude you are morons who can’t be trusted with a keyboard, let alone a PR budget.

My response?

TL;DR*


*Too Long; Didn’t Read

5 comments:

  1. IMHO, we're not moving fast enough - we should breeze right past txtspk and make LOLcat the new medium.

    I can has kined rgardz?

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're awesome ... such a good writer! I haven't had someone spring KR on me but thanks for clarifying. I'm obviously not cool enough to know what it stands for either. I would have just answered with WTF?

    ReplyDelete
  3. This made me giggle - I sign off my emails with 'kind regards', although I've never had it devolve into a competition of who can have the kindest regards. And I prefer kind regards to best regards. Best just sounds bad.

    But then again I'm emailing hoity-toity people who use that kind of language themselves, so....

    Never had anyone write KR though. That would have confused me, too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What's your suggestion then?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Generally, if it's informal or to to someone I know, I close it with a relavant point like "looking forward to seeing you Tuesday". Or if I am asking for something or looking for info, "thanks".
    For people I don't know, "thanks", "thank you" etc is normally good depending on the context and audience, and "yours sincerely" works for very formal. I have been known to use "Regards" when I just can't think of another option, I admit.

    ReplyDelete