For you to roll your eyes and die laughing in irony. Or to make you feel better about your day job. Or to repent.
Literal meaning: I have noted down all the things you ask and will definitely do them ASAP, even if it cost me another all-nighter.
What it actually means: Yeah, yeah, blah, blah, whatever. I’ll do the first three on the list and hopefully you will forget the last nine.
2. Please advice.
Literal meaning: I have done what is asked and yet I am not sure if this is the right thing. Would you be able to advice if this project is on track?
What it actually means: I am done with this and I’m awesome and it’s no biggie and everything is under control. The purpose of this email is really just another notification, but it sounds that I’m too proud to not be asking for any guidance… Okay, insert the magical words.
3. Following our discussion…
Literal meaning: After having that discussion this morning, I just want to follow up on the conclusions we have reached and the things that we need to do next.
What it actually means: Erm, I don’t remember if the manager has approved this project or not. Have I actually told him this thing? I think I did. Let’s just assume I did. He wouldn’t remember everything he has said to everyone. Okay. Let’s pretend we actually did talk about this before.
4. I’ll do my best.
Literal meaning: I really have no idea about what you’re asking me to do but I will learn, search the guides on Google, and give 110 per cent of my energy towards it. Rest assured knowing that you will have a masterpiece once I’m finished with the project.
What it actually means: I have no idea about what I’m going to do but yeah, I’ll try… the bare minimum. You can’t blame me for doing something that I don’t really know right? At least I’ve given it a try.
5. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Literal meaning: Here are the opinions and ideas that our division has come up to increase traffic to the company’s blog and website. We are using some technical jargons thus if there are concepts that in some ways are not clear to you, please don’t let it pass by and ask us to explain any misunderstanding that may occur.
What it actually means: Please, please, please, please, no more revisions! Let’s get this done and over with.
6. I’ll get back to you ASAP.
Literal meaning: I don’t have the answer at the moment but whatever it is you are asking me to do, I will definitely do it As Soon As Possible. I will not eat, drink, sleep, nor yawn until I fulfill my oath.
What it actually means: I don’t have the answer at the moment but I’m actually really, really busy. Hmm, let’s see. [Opening diary] My schedule’s full until next month. You say you want it to be done by tomorrow? Well, it’s best not to mention any specific details about the deadline then. Say… soon? Soon. Soon is safe. Soon is tomorrow in your mind, and a month’s time in mine. Let’s pray you’ll forget about this in three days.
7. Thank you for your attention/time/cooperation/insertpositivewordhere.
Literal meaning: We are really honoured that you want to spend your time to read this email. We understand you are very busy and the fact that you have reached this part shows your commitment and dedication. From the deepest part of our hearts, thank you.
What it actually means: Bye.
Literal meaning: I know I have done something wrong and I will write this down on my post-it with red pen and put it on my cubicle wall and read it every morning to make sure I’ll never do this mistake again.
What it actually means: I acknowledge your anger towards me. Now I will say the magic word to distinguish some of the fire.