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The Incomprehensible

Deciphering client emails!

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Don’t you just hate it when you get an incomprehensible email from a client. A wall of text forced into a single paragraph new sentences beginning in the middle of old ones with no hint of punctuation to separate them it’s frustrating to say the least. and then when a full stop does happen to creep in the first letter is not capitalised. and then you continue trudging through this wall of. Text and begin finding full stops in the middle of. sentences dotted all over the place with no regard for what they mean. it’s not just the humble full stop either suddenly commas, start appearing, after every, other word, until you’re, left with, a complete, dogs breakfast, of a query

But don’t worry, it’s all been signed of as being sent from a mobile phone, so all is excused!

On a related note, is there anyone who has experience of deciphering hieroglyphics that may be free at some point today for a quick translation?

Replies (15)

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By Tax Dragon
06th Aug 2019 09:33

ye.s

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By memyself-eye
06th Aug 2019 09:40

not Me, I don't. do hire-o-glifics, neither.,

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By SXGuy
06th Aug 2019 10:00

the first time I get an email using 1337 speak, ill disengage.

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
06th Aug 2019 10:01

Would brush up my Linear B reading skills if I had any.

Re deciphering all I can offer is a weak grasp of Middle English, a derisory grasp of French (pretty pathetic for four years of study) and maybe twenty remaining words of Latin (The residual of two years studying)
My Swedish is paltry ,unless you want words relating to properties (I read a lot of house particulars with a dictionary)

On a semi related matter, I was slightly late coming in to work this morning and just after nine there was a very interesting Radio 4 show presented by Stephen Fry examining English syntax and sentence structure; the bit I distinctly heard was regarding adjective order in sentences and I made a mental note to listen on catch up this evening- perhaps you ought to send a link to your client or a copy of "Eats shoots and leaves"

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Caroline
By accountantccole
06th Aug 2019 11:18

My favourite clients who answer the question "Is it apple or banana?" with "Yes I have a goat"!
Then you have to repeat the original question 10x

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Replying to accountantccole:
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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
06th Aug 2019 17:41

accountantccole wrote:

My favourite clients who answer the question "Is it apple or banana?" with "Yes I have a goat"!

Maybe their confusion grows from the grammatical errors within the question. An apple? The apple? Or are you referring to the Tech company which owns the world?

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By sijolees
06th Aug 2019 14:35

The client might be unaware of how horrible the e-mail looks. They may have typed it out perfectly in their word processing program but when the text is cut and pasted all the style can be lost - it just ends up as a mulch at your end even though it looks fine to the sender.

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By SouthCoastAcc
06th Aug 2019 14:44

Oh the wasted time!

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By emanresu
06th Aug 2019 14:50

Wait until the client graduates to the abuse of apostrophe's and semicolons.

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Replying to emanresu:
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By Tax Dragon
06th Aug 2019 15:07

Misuse.

C.f. abuse of English.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By emanresu
07th Aug 2019 14:25

abuse n. improper , incorrrect or excessive use

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Replying to emanresu:
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By Tax Dragon
07th Aug 2019 14:39

It's a distinction we may need to come back to. We know about "abuse" (e.g. as an "A" in "GAAR"). "Misuse" is used far less in tax law... but it does appear (e.g. there is reference to "misuse" of reliefs in the anti-serial avoidance code).

Is the difference stylistic (it just depended who was drafting that day) or real? The courts may have to tell us. It's too subtle for me.

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Replying to emanresu:
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By Tax Dragon
07th Aug 2019 14:42

PS I like your excesssive use of rs. Also subtle.

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By Dib
07th Aug 2019 13:16

"On a related note, is there anyone who has experience of deciphering hieroglyphics that may be free at some point today for a quick translation?"

Alas, my knowledge of (middle) Egyptian is now woefully bad. Go back and ask me 30 years ago.

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By paul.gloverstanbury
12th Aug 2019 09:56

Surely a wolf should enjoy a dog's breakfast?

Just getting my coat....

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