Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Kenny同志

"Have a nice/good day" in an email

Recommended Posts

Kenny同志

I am curious about why so many Brits find it a pet peeve in an email. Shouldn't they feel happy when someone wishes them a good day? I think at least it shouldn't be something they get annoyed at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

anonymoose

What makes you think "so many Brits find it a pet peeve"?

 

Personally, I probably wouldn't pay much attention to it, unless I noticed it being used particularly often. In that case, I may find it annoying, as I would assume it is insincere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

Have a nice day is perceived as an Americanism. Not sure I'd even notice it myself. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
realmayo

It's like saying "thank you" to the person taking your money when you buy something from them.

It's unthinking politeness in the UK.

It's only the first part of the unthinking politeness exchange in the US (the vendor needs to reply "you're welcome")

It's over the top courtesy in China.

 

It's simply social norms rather than speaking to genuine politeness.

In the UK you'd barely notice the "thank you". In China you would notice it, it sticks out (but maybe not so much these days?).

 

 

So "have a nice day" in a work-email sticks out to me. A bit like a colleague saying: "hope you have a good night's sleep" when they leave at the end of the day: I mean, unless we've been discussing the topic, it's none of their business.

 

But it's normal in the US and I think we're increasingly habituated to it, particularly from Americans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kenny同志
What makes you think "so many Brits find it a pet peeve"?

I am sorry there were just two Brits out of three or four.

 

Anyway, I came across it while I was reading this thread on proz. It gave me an impression that many Brits don't like the phrase.

 

A few comments:

 

I don't mind long as they don't say "have a nice day". I don't know where non-English speakers got the idea that that's a good thing to say.

 

I always read it, even to myself in my mind, with a New York accent - or as near as I can come to one. It grates in that accent as it's obviously so phoney - as if they care? But I do accept that it's common in America. As a Brit (albeit abroad), it would certainly never, ever pass my lips.

But however much I might cringe at inappropriate use of English, if it's being written/spoken by a non-native speaker - one who isn't actually my student - I try to keep my thoughts to myself and not hold it against them. I'm sure I make French native speakers cringe sometimesicon_eek.gif.

 

Have a nice day is perceived as an Americanism.

How about 'have a good day'? Is it any better and fine to use in an email?

 

I don't use 'have a nice day' but I do use 'have a good day' from time to time in emails. Should I refrain from doing that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kenny同志
So "have a nice day" in a work-email sticks out to me. A bit like a colleague saying: "hope you have a good night's sleep" when they leave at the end of the day: I mean, unless we've been discussing the topic, it's none of their business.

 

I see. Thanks for your explanation Mayo.

 

It seems 'Have a good day!' is not any better. Will stop doing that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
realmayo

I certainly wouldn't over-worry about it, unless your correspondee is both British and assumes that you are too. And even then it's not a massive big deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kenny同志

Good to hear that.

 

All those Brits I work with know I am Chinese but still I want to avoid something that might annoy them. : )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kenny同志
I lived in England and don't really have a list of annoying Britishisms, I don't think about those thing The only thing I found annoying was brits always trying to correct me and acting as if I was wrong all the time. I once went to a pub with an english friend. I ordered a basil and tomato sandwich, with my American accent, of course and the waitress looked confused. My english friend then repeated it to the waitress who then understood. We all had a good laugh, but how ridiculous!

Swatantra- languages just develop and change over time in different places, it's the same with Spanish. Latin American countries all speak differently from Spain and have varying accents and words all over the different countries. The English language as spoken everywhere has evolved/changed over time including in England!

We became and independent republic, we had immigration from all over, how could the English language as spoken in the U.S. remain the same? Yes you spoke the language first, yes a good English accent is like music to my ears, but this does not mean American English is to be looked down on.

Brits just need to let this one go! But I think that will never happen unfortunately, to my annoyance!

 

Did you laugh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
renzhe

You shouldn't overthink this. People always quibble over accents and dialects in all languages, it is unlikely to cause serious problems if your communication is polite, or you happen to be interacting with an idiot.

How many topics do we have on here about Taiwanese/Beijing/Cantonese/Shanghainese accents? It's similar. People make fun of each other's language and it occasionally trips people up, but it's rarely a huge problem, IMHO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kenny同志

I concur with you Renzhe. Thank you.

 

It may be mentioning that besides my intention to avoid annoyance for Brits, the other major reason I am going to stop using this phrase is that English English is my preferred variant of the language.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Demonic_Duck

I always think email ettiquette is a minefield, because there are no rigidly defined conventions for it like there are for formal letters, and different people will perceive different conventions in different ways.

 

I've never heard of people being annoyed by "have a nice day" (although it might piss me off if it was at the end of an email delivering unwelcome news, especially if the person sending the email was partly or wholly responsible for the news). I guess people mainly find it annoying because it's seen as insincere.

 

One other thing I've heard people don't like is signing an email with "best, [name]", because it seems lazy and doesn't specify what is the "best" (...wishes? ...regards? ...lager in the world?) It doesn't bother me too much, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pingfa
I'm born and raised in Britain. I don't think most British people would find fault with this phrase. British people are big on small talk. Where I live it is the norm after buying something or doing a job for someone to say 'cheers, have a good one', 'have a nice day' does get some use, too.

 

That post about American English being looked down upon and British people correcting their 'incorrect' use of the English language is spot on. A lot of British people get the impression that Americans don't speak English well because they don't realize a lot of Britishisms simply aren't used in America.

If these are casual penpals it may be that, as others have said, they feel it is overly formal and insincere to end every email with that. It will differ from person to person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kenny同志

Thanks for your feedback, Duck and PingFa. I have a better idea about how you perceive the phrase now. : )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
renzhe

I think it's a general thing, not only British. I used to get corrected in Canada when saying "naivety" instead of "naiveté", for example. And I (rather embarrassingly) once corrected someone who wrote "connexion", as I was not familiar with the spelling.

And if you go to a shop in North America and ask for a "fag", you'll also get corrected. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Demonic_Duck

I always thought “connexion” was archaic, didn't know people still used it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lu
One other thing I've heard people don't like is signing an email with "best, [name]", because it seems lazy and doesn't specify what is the "best" (...wishes? ...regards? ...lager in the world?) It doesn't bother me too much, though.
I end emails with 'Best'... I just see it as a general 'wishing you the best of whatever you'd like to have the best of.' But perhaps it annoys some people in the same way it annoys me when people start their emails (or letters) with 'Dear' and nothing else. Dear what? Dear who?

 

But generally, when I'm emailing someone I don't know well, I greet them in the same way they greet me. This is mostly out of insecurity: I'm never quite sure what the correct, polite way to end an email is, so I figure, as long as I do the same as my correspondence partner, at least they won't think it's wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Demonic_Duck

Since reading this thread I noticed recently, on a few separate occasions, Chinese friends (and in one case a Korean friend) wishing me "have a nice day" on 微信. Whilst signing off an email to a colleague like this doesn't seem too weird to me (assuming your relationship with them isn't close), signing off personal correspondence to a friend like this definitely seems like 见ing 外. Maybe that's why some people have a bugbear about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...