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Monday, June 02, 2008

Do You Want to Read My Blog Post?

I am starting an organization that I think you might be interested in joining: People Against Passive Aggressive Language (PAPAL.)

My office - in particular my co-workers - have caught the passive aggressive bug. Evidence of said bug can best be demonstrated by sharing the following sentences recently heard in my office:

Do you think we should call the copy guy?

No, we shouldn't call the copy guy, because we can't do anything together. I will call the copy guy.

Is the copy guy coming?

I don't know if the copy guy is coming, however, if you're curious you might ask me if I have called the copy guy to come.

Do you want to call the copy guy?

If I want to call the copy guy, I will. You might simply ask me to call him, instead of asking me if I want to call him.

It's as if we all learned at some point that being passive aggressive was the same thing as being polite. It's not. It's just vague and ambiguous. Being polite is saying "please" and "thank you."

I humbly suggest the following as a simple and direct replacement for the above passive aggressive sentences:

Stephanie, will you please call the copy guy about the bad copies?

Yes, I would be delighted to.

Now accepting membership applications for PAPAL.


Sven said...

Where do I sign up?

stu said...

Of course, the easy way of curing people of this is to be annoyingly literal with them for a bit.

Anonymous said...

I'm in. I'm all for just plain old aggressive language. "Copy Guy! Your machine is crap!" And so forth.