Is It Correct to Say “Please Find Attached”?

Marcus Froland

In the world of emails and formal communication, we often find ourselves standing at a crossroads. The phrases we choose can either open doors or raise eyebrows. One such phrase that has stirred up quite a bit of discussion is “Please find attached”. It’s like a relic from the past, holding its ground in the digital age. But does it still belong? Or has it become an antiquated guest at the party of modern communication?

This seemingly simple string of words carries with it a universe of debate. On one side, there are those who argue for its professionalism and clarity; on the other, critics claim it’s stiff and outdated. The truth? Well, that’s what we’re here to uncover. But let’s be clear: this is no ordinary journey through grammar and etiquette. As we peel away the layers, you might just find yourself questioning not only this phrase but how we communicate in our digital world altogether.

So, as we stand at this fork in the road, which path will you choose? Will “Please find attached” survive the scrutiny or will it be time to bid farewell to an old friend? The answer lies just beyond this point, but beware—the conclusion may surprise you.

When you’re sending an email with a document, you might wonder if saying “Please find attached” is right. This phrase is formal and common in business emails. It tells the recipient that you’ve included a file for them to look at. However, it’s a bit old-fashioned. Today, people prefer more direct language like “See the attached” or “I’ve attached“. These options are clearer and fit better in today’s casual communication style. So, while “Please find attached” isn’t wrong, there are simpler ways to say it that might help your message come across as more friendly and straightforward.

The History of Business Correspondence Language

The evolution of business correspondence has seen a drastic change from traditionally formal styles, with roots in conventional typing classes, to a more contemporary approach that emphasizes clarity and conciseness. The historical aspects of business language were often characterized by rigid phrasing and unwavering formality. However, in recent decades, these elements have diminished in modern correspondence, making way for directness and a conversational tone.

One of the catalysts driving this transformation in business communication has been the rapid advancement of technology. From typewriters to personal computers, and now mobile devices, the tools we use to communicate have significantly impacted the way we craft our messages.

“Before email, businesses relied on typed or handwritten letters, which required a certain level of formality and structure to convey professionalism.”

Traditional business language often used formal salutations and closings, as well as complex sentence structures and jargon specific to the industry. This approach might have been necessary to maintain a professional appearance in written correspondence, but it could also lead to confusion and misinterpretation for those not well versed in the particular lingo.

  1. Typewritten letters
  2. Formal salutations and closings
  3. Industry-specific jargon

As email became the dominant form of business communication, it brought with it a shift in email etiquette. Emails afford more immediacy and informality compared to their traditional predecessors. This transition created a demand for more direct and concise language that retained professionalism but with a friendlier tone.

Furthermore, the rise of globalization also played a role in shaping business language, as it became increasingly important to engage in clear communication with a diverse set of clients and colleagues from various linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Current Trends in Email Communication

In today’s fast-paced digital environment, email trends and styles are constantly evolving. As the go-to tool for business communication, it’s crucial to adapt and implement effective email language, engaging email practices, and modern email communication techniques. Understanding the email etiquette evolution, business email structure, and the balance between formal vs informal emails is key to successful communication.

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Analyzing the Phrase “Please Find Attached”

“Please find attached” is a phrase that has been used for years in email attachment notifications. It was common in traditional business language, but has gradually lost favor as email trends have shifted towards a more conversational tone.

Language experts advise against using this phrase, as it is old-fashioned, redundant, and can come across as unintentionally commanding. Instead, modern email etiquette suggests adopting a conversational and straightforward style that emulates natural human speech. This approach is more engaging and comes across as less robotic, fostering a welcoming atmosphere for the recipient.

Why Conversational Tone Wins in Modern Emails

A conversational email tone is now favored in most business communication settings. This approach is more personal, making email exchanges less robotic. Including informal, accessible language in your emails can engage recipients and foster a collaborative atmosphere. The shift from formal to informal language mirrors a broader trend in email communication, emphasizing the importance of accessibility and ease above traditional business language formalities.

The Evolution of Formal Email Etiquette

Email etiquette has come a long way from its rigid, formal beginnings. The traditional business email structure, characterized by lengthy, complex sentences and overflowing with formal language, has evolved into a more flexible approach.

  • Formal emails prioritized adherence to rules and conventions over ease of communication.
  • Today’s emails balance professionalism with a conversational ease – a nod to the current trend of prioritizing clear communication and readability.
  • An engaging, clear, and concise tone is now the standard in most business correspondence.

Adapting to these modern email writing trends can help make your emails more efficient and effective, promoting a productive and collaborative professional environment.

Grammarly’s Take on Attachment Notation in Emails

When it comes to email writing tools, Grammarly has quickly become one of the most popular choices for professionals and casual email users alike. Among the numerous pieces of Grammarly advice provided, one crucial topic is how to handle attachment notation in your emails.

Grammarly suggests that the phrase “Please find attached” is an unnecessary and outdated phrase in email communication. Instead of using such formal and impersonal language, Grammarly emphasizes the importance of clear, polished writing that is free from the kind of jargon that phrases like this represent.

“The people who read your emails are humans, after all. A little more warmth and personality in your writing can create a more engaging email experience.”

To ensure your writing is understood at its best, Grammarly proposes sticking to straightforward communication that employs the following methods:

  1. Using a conversational tone
  2. Being concise and to the point
  3. Avoiding jargon and formal phrases when not necessary
  4. Directly stating the purpose of the attachment

By following Grammarly’s guidance, you can make certain that your emails are well-received by your recipients and maintain a professional yet authentic tone in your business communication.

Alternatives to “Please Find Attached”

In the modern business world, engaging and effective communication is essential, and using outdated language can detract from your message. To improve your email clarity and ensure your recipients understand your message, consider these alternative attachment phrases and methods for directive email communication.

Direct and Simple Phrases for Email Attachments

Rather than using archaic phrases like “Please find attached,” opt for more direct and clear phrases. Experts suggest using concise language that simplifies the process of notifying recipients about email attachments. The following phrases achieve this purpose seamlessly:

  • I’ve attached [item]
  • Please refer to the attached [item]
  • The attached [item] includes [brief description]

These phrases are simple, clear, and convey the necessary information without any redundancies or unnecessary formality.

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The Adequate Use of Imperative Forms

While it is important to avoid commanding or overbearing language in emails, there is still a place for instructive email phrases created with imperative language. Rather than issuing a directive with “Please find attached,” language specialists recommend using imperative forms that are more adequate and less commanding.

See the attached file for more details.

Let me know if you have questions about the attachment.

Implementing these alternative phrases and other similar constructions can enhance your email communication, helping you strike the right balance between professionalism and approachability.

The Legal Perspective on Email Formalities

While the phrase “Please find attached” may seem like a harmless and traditional way of addressing email attachments, it is important to consider its relevance and necessity in the context of legal email language. Formalities in business law and contract communication hold significant weight, but this doesn’t mean that outdated expressions must continue to be used.

Legal writing expert Bryan Garner suggests that using such canned phrases is not essential for effective legal communication. He encourages writers to avoid them and focus on clearer and more engaging language instead. This not only makes the email easier to understand but also helps in fostering positive relationships with clients and colleagues.

“Please find attached” is not necessary for effective legal communication.

Although some level of formality is expected in legal communication, the use of outdated expressions can negatively impact the clarity and comprehension of the message. Consider opting for alternative phrasing that still maintains professionalism without employing antiquated language. This approach can offer multiple benefits, including improved understanding and increased engagement among recipients.

  1. Adopt a straightforward approach by stating the attached item directly, such as “I have attached [item] for your reference.”
  2. Make your message more conversational by using a simpler phrase like “You can find the [item] attached.”
  3. Focus on the attachment’s function or purpose by saying “The attached [item] provides the information you requested.”

Email formalities in legal and business correspondence are essential for maintaining professionalism and credibility. However, it’s important to strike a balance between formality and clarity while avoiding outdated phrases like “Please find attached.”

Attachment Etiquette in Professional Emails

As email continues to be a staple in business communication, it’s essential to maintain professional email etiquette while managing email attachments, specifically adhering to email attachment guidelines. The following are some practices to keep in mind for sending and receiving attachments in a professional setting.

  1. Giving a heads-up when sending unexpected attachments: When sending an attachment that the recipient might not be expecting, it’s a good idea to state explicitly in the body of the email that a document or file is attached. This not only helps ensure the recipient is aware of the attachment, but also reinforces trust between the sender and receiver.
  2. Making sure to actually attach mentioned files: An all-too-common mistake is mentioning an attachment in the email but forgetting to attach the file itself. To prevent this, attach the file first before writing the email, or double-check before hitting “send.”
  3. Refraining from sending unnecessarily large files: Large attachments can be cumbersome for the recipient and may cause email server problems. Try compressing large attachments or reducing file size to mitigate the impact on the recipient’s inbox.
  4. Considering alternative methods for transferring large files: Instead of sending large files as attachments, consider using cloud-sharing services like Google Drive or Dropbox. Including a link to the shared document or folder in the email makes it easier for the recipient to access the files without cluttering their inbox.

By incorporating these attachment etiquette principles into your professional email practices, you can make exchanging files a smoother experience for both you and your recipients. Additionally, adhering to these practices helps in maintaining a professional image and fostering efficiency in your business communication.

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Pros and Cons of Using Traditional Vs. Modern Email Language

When it comes to email communication, the choice between traditional and modern language can have significant impacts on the effectiveness of your message. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of each approach and determine the appropriate situations for their use.

Traditional email language is characterized by formal phrases and a more distant tone. This style can be useful when communicating with certain audiences, such as older professionals or in more formal industries. Some benefits of traditional email language include:

  • Establishing a sense of professionalism and credibility.
  • Allowing for clear hierarchies in email communication, which may be necessary in certain contexts.
  • Adherence to traditional business etiquette, which can be appreciated by some recipients.

However, the use of excessively formal language can also have its drawbacks, such as:

  • Creating a barrier between the sender and the recipient, which can hinder effective communication.
  • Appearing outdated or out of touch with contemporary email practices.
  • Reducing the likelihood of a natural and engaging interaction.

On the other hand, modern email practices often involve a more conversational tone and clear, concise language. The advantages of adopting a modern email style include:

  • Enhancing clarity and making the message easily understandable.
  • Fostering a more personal connection between the sender and the recipient.
  • Facilitating fast, efficient communication that aligns with the current pace of business interactions.

Nevertheless, modern email practices may have their pitfalls, such as:

  • Potentially crossing the line into casual or unprofessional territory.
  • Being perceived as too informal by more traditional audiences.
  • Decreasing the distinction between formal and informal communication in business settings.

When to Stick to Tradition in Email Writing

Considering the pros and cons of traditional versus modern email language, it is crucial to determine the best approach based on the context and the recipient. Here are some situations where you may want to stick to traditional email language:

  1. When communicating with a higher-up or someone from a conservative professional background.
  2. When the subject matter is highly sensitive or involves confidential information.
  3. When the email is part of a formal documentation process, such as legal communication or contracts.

In most other business situations, adopting modern email practices can foster a more engaging and efficient communication experience. Always remember to strike the right balance in your email communication strategies to achieve the desired effect.

Expert Tips for Clear and Engaging Email Communication

Writing effective emails is an essential skill in today’s business world. To improve your email communication, follow these expert tips. By being concise, adopting a conversational tone, avoiding jargon, and providing direct instructions regarding attachments, you can ensure your emails are both engaging and clear.

The first key to clear email writing is to be concise. Get straight to the point, eliminate unnecessary information, and keep your message brief. Your recipients will appreciate the brevity, which allows them to quickly understand your email’s purpose and respond accordingly. A conversational tone can help make your emails more relatable and easier to understand. Aim for a friendly and approachable style, as if speaking directly to the recipient.

Avoiding jargon is also crucial for engaging email techniques. Industry-specific terms and acronyms can be confusing, so use plain language whenever possible. Finally, when mentioning attachments, be direct and clear in your instructions. Opt for phrases like “I’ve attached” or “See the attached file for more details” to ensure your recipient doesn’t overlook vital information.

In summary, employing these expert email communication tips can lead to more effective and appreciated emails. By being concise, using a conversational tone, avoiding jargon, and being clear about attachments, you’ll quickly become a master of email communication.

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