Is It Correct to Say “Attached Herewith”?

Marcus Froland

When it comes to the English language, there are countless phrases and expressions that can make even the most proficient speakers pause. One such phrase that often leaves people scratching their heads is “attached herewith.” This phrase pops up in emails, official documents, and correspondence, but does it really belong in modern English? Is it a relic of the past or a necessary component of formal communication?

The debate over its use is not just about grammar rules; it’s also about how language evolves with time. While some argue for the preservation of traditional expressions, others advocate for a more streamlined approach to communication. The answer might seem straightforward, but there’s more to this than meets the eye. As we peel back the layers of this linguistic conundrum, you’ll find yourself questioning everything you thought you knew about formal English.

So, if you’ve ever found yourself hesitating before typing out “attached herewith” in an email, wondering if there’s a better way to say it or if it’s even correct at all, you’re not alone. The journey through the twists and turns of language etiquette might just surprise you. What will we discover together?

Using the phrase “attached herewith” in English is technically correct, but it’s very formal and somewhat outdated. This expression was common in business and legal documents to indicate that something was attached with the letter or document being sent. Today, simpler alternatives are preferred for most communication. You can say “attached” or “enclosed” to keep your language modern and straightforward. In emails, a simple “I have attached…” or “Please see the attached…” works well and keeps your message clear. Remember, the goal is to make sure your reader understands you easily.

Understanding the Phrase “Attached Herewith”

In the realm of email attachments and professional communication, the phrase “attached herewith” may occasionally crop up. Despite its historical use and grammatical correctness, this term has fallen out of favor, particularly in American English since the 18th century. But what does “attached herewith” mean, and why has it become less common in formal writing?

Essentially, “attached herewith” translates to “joined with this communication,” implying that an attachment accompanies the message. The term combines the word “attached” (meaning joined or connected) with the adverb “herewith” (signifying inclusion with a communication). While its literal interpretation is clear and useful, “attached herewith” is now widely considered redundant and outdated in the context of contemporary professional exchanges.

Despite grammatical correctness, “attached herewith” has fallen out of everyday use, especially in American English since the 18th century, due to its redundancy and outdated formality.

The shift away from “attached herewith” reflects broader trends in professional communication. As the modern workplace undergoes continual evolution, there is an increased emphasis on communication clarity and brevity. In both formal and informal contexts, effective communication is no longer associated with using antiquated jargon or overly formal language.

  • Clear and concise: In place of “attached herewith,” modern professionals employ straightforward alternatives for introducing attachments, such as “please find attached” or “I’ve attached.”
  • Conversational tone: In contrast with the stilted formality of “attached herewith,” contemporary email exchanges often adopt a more natural and accessible tone.
  • Efficient communication: By prioritizing brevity and clarity, professionals can reduce the risk of misunderstandings and enhance the overall efficiency of communication within the workplace.

Given these points, it is clear that while “attached herewith” may be grammatically correct, its use is no longer considered optimal in most professional settings. Instead, opt for more concise and reader-friendly alternatives that foster clear and efficient communication.

The Evolution of Email Attachments in Professional Communication

Over the past two decades, the landscape of professional communication has gone through significant changes. In particular, email has evolved from a strictly formal channel to a medium that accommodates a more conversational tone, reflecting the broader trends in business practices. This transformation has also influenced the way we reference attachments in emails.

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From Formal to Conversational: Changing Tone in Emails

Initially, email communication closely followed the rules of formal written correspondence, complete with intricate and old-fashioned phrases. However, in today’s fast-paced business world, simplicity, clarity, and relatability have taken precedence over strict formality. The adoption of a more conversational tone in emails has allowed professionals to engage in efficient and agreeable exchanges, strengthening relationships and fostering collaboration.

“The greatest enemy of communication is the illusion of it.” – William H. Whyte

As a result of this shift, overly formal expressions like “attached herewith” have become less common in email communication, making way for more direct and easily understandable phrases.

How Modern Business Communication Affects Language Use

Modern professionalism recognizes the value of effective communication, and language has adapted to the changing dynamics of the business world. Workplace culture now focuses on establishing clear channels of communication and ensuring that the intended messages reach their recipients without misunderstandings. Consequently, professionals have stopped relying on antiquated jargon. Streamlined language usage has emerged as a writer’s best tool for conveying messages that are both efficient and engaging.

Let’s take a look at the key communication trends influencing the evolution of email attachments:

  1. Clarity and Brevity: Professionals seek to deliver concise messages that are easy to understand and devoid of unnecessary jargon.
  2. Personalization: Emails aim to create a personal connection with the recipient, even in professional contexts.
  3. Call to Action: Modern emails often include a clear call to action, guiding the recipient on what to do next.
  4. Attachment Formatting: Unlike the past, attachments have become less formal and are presented more effectively to facilitate comprehension.

By embracing these modern communication principles, professionals can achieve optimal collaboration and productivity. So, when it comes to referencing attachments in emails, using clear, concise, and conversational language is the way forward.

Why “Attached Herewith” Might Not Be the Best Choice

Adhering to email writing best practices plays a crucial role in effective communication in the digital age. While it is essential to be grammatically correct, it’s also important to consider the tone and relevance of your language in business emails. The phrase “attached herewith” might seem like an appropriate way to reference an attachment, but there are several reasons why it might not be the best choice for modern professional communication:

  1. Inability to strike a conversational tone: Today’s professional communication often leans towards a more conversational approach. Using phrases like “attached herewith” can make your email feel stiff and overly formal, creating an unnecessary barrier between you and the recipient.
  2. Superfluous nature of announcing an attachment’s presence: Most email clients visually indicate the presence of an attachment to a message. Announcing the attachment’s presence with a phrase like “attached herewith” creates redundancy in your communication, which can decrease your email’s overall clarity.
  3. Risk of sounding overly formal to the point of alienation: When communicating with business professionals, it’s essential to maintain a cordial and approachable demeanor. Using outdated and excessively formal language might cause your recipients to feel disconnected or alienated from you.

Business professionals who are well-versed in email writing best practices often opt for more modern, accessible ways to reference email attachments. In addition to fostering clearer communication, these alternative phrases can help you remain relatable and personable in your professional interactions.

“Instead of using formal and outdated phrases such as ‘attached herewith,’ consider more contemporary alternatives that strike a balance between professionalism and approachability.”

By employing these modern alternatives for prefacing attachments, you can maintain your professionalism while keeping your emails engaging and easy to understand, ultimately contributing to more effective communication.

Common Misconceptions About Formal Email Language

Many people hold the erroneous belief that using overly formal language, like “attached herewith,” is a marker of professionalism. This tends to stem from deeply ingrained email misconceptions and formal language myths, which might mislead some into thinking that such phrases are always appropriate or even necessary.

Contrary to common misconceptions, using formal language such as “attached herewith” does not universally equate to professionalism. In fact, excessive formality can impede understanding and appear outmoded.

Modern business writing revolves around principles of clarity, brevity, and relatability, rendering the use of excessively formal and antiquated phrases counterproductive. By recognizing these misconceptions, you can better adapt your email writing practices to match the expectations and norms of the contemporary professional world.

  1. Myth: Formal language guarantees a perception of professionalism.
  2. Reality: Excessive formality can hinder understanding and give the impression of being out of touch.
  3. Myth: Utilizing formal phrases, such as “attached herewith,” is necessary in all professional emails.
  4. Reality: Employing more modern and approachable wording enhances clarity, keeping communication efficient and accessible.
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Understanding these misconceptions can help you write more effective and concise emails, ensuring your message is communicated clearly and professionally without relying on outdated formalisms.

Preferred Alternatives to “Attached Herewith” in Emails

In recent years, modern email phrases have evolved to prioritize clarity in communication. In line with this trend, it is crucial to identify alternatives to outdated and overly formal phrases such as “attached herewith” when referencing attachments in emails. This section will explore modern solutions, effective attachment notification techniques, and striking the right balance between professionalism and personability.

Choosing Clarity and Brevity: Modern Solutions

Modern solutions for referencing attachments in emails focus on brevity and clarity to cater to today’s fast-paced work environment. Instead of using “attached herewith,” consider opting for more succinct and easily understood phrases to introduce attachments. For instance:

  • Please find attached
  • I’ve attached
  • Here is

By employing the above examples or similar alternatives, you can maintain a clean and efficient communication style without sounding overly formal or outdated.

Attachment Notification Techniques That Work

A practical and concise approach is key when informing email recipients about attachments. The following expressions highlight attachments effectively without unnecessary wordiness:

  1. You’ll find the attachment below
  2. Relevant information is in the attached file
  3. The requested document is attached to this email

By utilizing these straightforward phrases, you ensure that critical information is easily accessible to the recipient while still maintaining a professional tone.

Professional Yet Personable: Striking the Right Balance

Finding the perfect middle ground between professionalism and personability in your emails can greatly enhance communication. Employing collaborative phrases, such as “I’m sharing [the file] with you” can foster a team spirit while also keeping the conversation focused and productive.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the attachment.

Invitations for further dialogue, like the example above, demonstrate an openness to help and create an atmosphere of support and collaboration. By maintaining a respectful yet friendly tone, you create an effective and pleasant email exchange experience.

Legal Documents and the Case for “Attached Herewith”

While the phrase “attached herewith” is often considered outdated in many contexts, it still maintains a certain level of relevance in the realm of legal communications and contract language. The nature of legal documentation often calls for established language to be used for the sake of clarity and agreed-upon definitions that mitigate disputes. In such cases, the use of more formal and precise language, including phrases like “attached herewith,” might be considered appropriate.

It is important to recognize that the legal field is subject to its unique set of communication norms and conventions. Consequently, language that may be deemed archaic in other contexts can still be retained in this industry due to its long-standing use and specific meaning.

“Attached herewith” maintains a niche presence in the legal world, where clarity and precision are crucial in contract language.

However, this does not imply that the use of “attached herewith” should be a standard practice in all legal communications. As with any industry, it is vital to assess the situation and audience to determine the most effective language choices. Certain situations might call for a more contemporary approach, while others might require adherence to traditional terminology.

  1. Consider your audience and their expectations.
  2. Reflect on the specific legal context and potential implications of language choices.
  3. Make a conscious effort to balance formality with readability and clarity.
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While “attached herewith” might be seen as outmoded and overly formal in many modern professional settings, its use can still be appropriate within the specific context of legal communications and contract language. The key is to carefully assess the context and audience, striving to strike a balance between maintaining established legal language traditions while keeping up with evolving communication norms.

The Role of Context in Using “Attached Herewith”

While the phrase “attached herewith” is often considered outdated, its appropriateness largely depends on the context in which it is being used. In some formal and professional communications, using this phrase might still be acceptable as a means of maintaining decorum and conveying the sender’s intent. However, it is essential to gauge the recipient’s expectations and the level of formality required in each specific scenario.

In most contemporary situations, professional communication tends to value contextual language use and appropriate email attachments that reflect modern communication standards. Consequently, there are now numerous alternatives available that are considered more suitable than using “attached herewith.”

Adapting to the evolving language landscape is crucial in fostering effective and relatable communication, even in a professional setting.

Consider the importance of understanding the context of your communication, as it could determine how well your message is received. For example, a business email may require a certain level of formality, but that does not necessarily mean resorting to outdated language. In fact, choosing a more straightforward and conversational phrasing might be preferable in most situations to promote comprehension and collaboration.

With shifts in communication trends, numerous alternative options have emerged that effectively reference email attachments without relying on the antiquated phrase “attached herewith.” These alternatives include:

  1. “Please find attached [file]”
  2. “I’ve attached [file] for your review”
  3. “Here is the [file] you requested”

Each of these phrases acknowledges the attachment without sounding overly formal or redundant. Keep in mind that balancing professionalism and relatability is vital for successful communication in today’s digital world.

In summary, while “attached herewith” can occasionally serve a purpose in very specific contexts, it is generally advisable to opt for more modern and clear language when referencing email attachments. Ultimately, understanding the context and preferences of your recipient is crucial in determining the most effective language for communicating your message.

Better Ways to Reference Email Attachments Today

In contemporary professional communication, it’s important to find the right balance between formal and casual language. When referencing email attachments, adhering to email attachment etiquette and contemporary communication standards can make all the difference in maintaining clarity and rapport with recipients.

Modern alternatives to “attached herewith” include concise phrases that effectively convey the message without relying on outdated terminology. For instance, try using “please see the enclosed [file],” “take a look at the attached [file],” or “I’ve linked [the file]” to introduce an attachment. These options communicate efficiently and align better with today’s email norms, both formal and informal alike.

By adapting your language to reflect current communication practices and keeping email attachment references straightforward, you’ll enhance your chances of establishing strong connections and effective communication with your colleagues, clients, and other professional contacts. Always remember to choose language that strikes the right balance, so your emails maintain a professional, personable tone while also providing the necessary information.

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