Author Topic: Insulted by Thank you card  (Read 7867 times)

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miranova

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Re: Insulted by Thank you card
« Reply #45 on: November 20, 2013, 08:20:26 PM »
I think it was probably a deliberate snub since she knew the OP's name.  It was:  I won't even give you the courtesy of saying your name although I'm being technically polite by sending a thank you card.  I had a friend who always did this very thing to her mother in law.  She couldn't stand her mother in law, and with good reason.  Yet she always wrote thank you cards in the most proper way she could, with absolutely ZERO personal touches or affection, and signed them with "cordially", even though that is a word she would never use with someone she actually liked and cared about.  She actually thought long and hard before she decided on "cordially" because she didn't want to use "love" or anything like that.  I'm not saying every use of the word "cordially" is deliberately cold but in her case, it was.  Sometimes when you know someone doesn't like you, you just know that they are doing these things on purpose.  I'm not saying I'd give it any thought or be mad, not worth my energy.  But I do think it was deliberate.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Insulted by Thank you card
« Reply #46 on: November 20, 2013, 09:32:45 PM »
Funny story: my parents were once writing a Christmas card to my dad's cousin, wife, and three children. All their children have long and complicated names, and my parents couldn't remember the exact name of the third one. So my dad (who was writing) deliberately let his handwriting get worse and worse, so by the time he got to the third child's name, it was basically a squiggle!

Luckily, I don't think his cousin noticed, or took offence!

Miss Unleaded

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Re: Insulted by Thank you card
« Reply #47 on: November 21, 2013, 07:12:36 AM »
I'd be insulted too, but I'd put it down to ignorance rather than malice. It's an absolutely incorrect use of 'et al'. Maybe she really did think it sounded 'posher' and she did it on lots of cards.

For the other poster who uses it now because they think it sounds 'cute' - it really doesn't if you understand the phrase properly: it sounds rude in such contexts.

et al - it's for Academic contexts, not personal or social ones.

As someone who has used it in social correspondence, this is harsh. It means "and all". I have used it for both salutations and when signing (love Deetee et al).. It's a bit different, but to call it incorrect and wrong is silly. there are no rules between friends. And I've used it so much academically, it'll drift over into my conversation.

Now the OP was insulted, but it sounds like there was a history behind it.

I agree with the others about "Mining for insults"

I don't recall ever seing this used in a social context. Academia, yes.  Business, occassionally.  But in a social setting it seems quite jarring and odd to me.  But even if the giftee was using it to 'be proper', it means 'and otherS', plural.  So it's quite inappropriate to use it to mean a single person as the OP stated was the case.  Doubly so if she knew the OP's name.

I don't think it's a stretch to consider this a deliberate insult especially in light of the personal history.

MariaE

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Re: Insulted by Thank you card
« Reply #48 on: November 21, 2013, 07:16:51 AM »
I'd be insulted too, but I'd put it down to ignorance rather than malice. It's an absolutely incorrect use of 'et al'. Maybe she really did think it sounded 'posher' and she did it on lots of cards.

For the other poster who uses it now because they think it sounds 'cute' - it really doesn't if you understand the phrase properly: it sounds rude in such contexts.

et al - it's for Academic contexts, not personal or social ones.

As someone who has used it in social correspondence, this is harsh. It means "and all". I have used it for both salutations and when signing (love Deetee et al).. It's a bit different, but to call it incorrect and wrong is silly. there are no rules between friends. And I've used it so much academically, it'll drift over into my conversation.

Now the OP was insulted, but it sounds like there was a history behind it.

I agree with the others about "Mining for insults"

I don't recall ever seing this used in a social context. Academia, yes.  Business, occassionally.  But in a social setting it seems quite jarring and odd to me.  But even if the giftee was using it to 'be proper', it means 'and otherS', plural.  So it's quite inappropriate to use it to mean a single person as the OP stated was the case.  Doubly so if she knew the OP's name.

I don't think it's a stretch to consider this a deliberate insult especially in light of the personal history.

I agree that "et al" could be seen as insulting if written instead of just one other person... but in that case I think "and family" would be rude as well. But I thought the "et al" was meant to cover OP and kids in which case "and others" (plural) would be fine.

Baring any backstory (and I know that's not the case for the OP), I don't think it is rude at all. With the backstory it might be rude, but it could also just be one of those things.

Being insulted by it is - IMO - an overreaction either way though.
 
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TurtleDove

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Re: Insulted by Thank you card
« Reply #49 on: November 21, 2013, 07:36:36 AM »
I think it's a waste of energy to even think about whether an insult was intended, but even assuming one was....so what. The OP doesn't have to do anything about it, and since the OP does not like the than you note writer anyway, why would it matter that the feeling is mutual?

Miss Unleaded

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Re: Insulted by Thank you card
« Reply #50 on: November 21, 2013, 08:26:26 AM »

I agree that "et al" could be seen as insulting if written instead of just one other person... but in that case I think "and family" would be rude as well. But I thought the "et al" was meant to cover OP and kids in which case "and others" (plural) would be fine.

I assumed based on the OP that the gift was addressed from just her and her husband, which is why the 'et al.' bothered her.  'And family' would have been just as incorrect and I never cared for that expression myself either.  I might be an E-hell oddity though in that I really don't care about thank you notes and would just as soon not get one at all, as get one that was addressed like this.

Quote
Baring any backstory (and I know that's not the case for the OP), I don't think it is rude at all. With the backstory it might be rude, but it could also just be one of those things.

Being insulted by it is - IMO - an overreaction either way though.

That I can agree with.  If it were me I'd just roll my eyes over it and maybe snark a bit to my husband for fun.

TootsNYC

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Re: Insulted by Thank you card
« Reply #51 on: November 21, 2013, 01:52:35 PM »
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"and family", which is a pretty normal thing to see on cards.

I know it's ordinary to see it, but I don't think it has an official sanction, and I personally think it's not polite. I'm tempted to do it, because I get lazy, but I don't think it's warm at all. On the envelope, yes, it's OK there.

But I don't consider it good form in the salutation.

(and if it's just one other person, "and family" is probably not that much less work than "and Sharon" or something. Oh, I suppose f-a-m-i-l-y is fewer letters than J-e-n-n-i-f-e-r, but only by two.)

It's not so much a deliberate insult as it is an offense of omission--you left my name out, which means you didn't think it was important to "speak" directly to me. I'm an afterthought--a pretty "after" afterthought, because you didn't even bother to write my name. So, yes, that's insulting, but it's a passive insult, not an active one.

I don't personally get upset about it, but I wouldn't ever label it "good form."

Sharnita

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Re: Insulted by Thank you card
« Reply #52 on: November 21, 2013, 04:15:48 PM »
See, I don't see it as leaving anyone out but more including others who might have been involved in spirit or in other ways.  As a kid I might not have contributed financially but I was excited about gifts that came from "us" even though the reality was that they were from my parents in most ways that mattered. A thank you note that acknowledged me as an honorary giver meant a lot.  It also made me notice the value of a thank you note. In the case of the OP, there is also a child so it seems that the intent could have been to include the little one as well.

Phoebe

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Re: Insulted by Thank you card
« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2013, 04:33:48 PM »
I think it's a waste of energy to even think about whether an insult was intended, but even assuming one was....so what. The OP doesn't have to do anything about it, and since the OP does not like the than you note writer anyway, why would it matter that the feeling is mutual?

Exactly my feeling.  Why bother putting any energy into thinking "was it/wasn't it" at all?

Deetee

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Re: Insulted by Thank you card
« Reply #54 on: November 21, 2013, 04:49:51 PM »
[snip}
I don't recall ever seing this used in a social context. Academia, yes.  Business, occassionally.  But in a social setting it seems quite jarring and odd to me.  But even if the giftee was using it to 'be proper', it means 'and otherS', plural.  So it's quite inappropriate to use it to mean a single person as the OP stated was the case.  Doubly so if she knew the OP's name.

I don't think it's a stretch to consider this a deliberate insult especially in light of the personal history.

In the original post, the OP stated she was at home caring for their ill son. So there are more people in the family. I know that I generally write letters to the entire family in a Thank-you card/Christmas card etc.. type situation.

tinkytinky

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Re: Insulted by Thank you card
« Reply #55 on: November 21, 2013, 06:04:00 PM »
I don't know, if he is the godfather and OP doesn't have that sort of role, i could see it. If the godmother that was chosen has a family, their thank you might be addressed in a similar manner.


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Clockwork Banana

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Re: Insulted by Thank you card
« Reply #56 on: November 23, 2013, 10:12:32 AM »
Sorry to bring forward an essentially finished thread but I have an OT but related style question.

I use et. al. fairly often in casual correspondence such as email or posts.  Is it correct to use it as a substitute when listing things as well as people?  For instance if I were to state: "I purchased fruits today; apples, bananas, peaches et. al.  Or should I use etc. instead?

Slightly related to the actual topic, I remember as a smaller child that I was always sorta happy when a Christmas card arrived that was addressed (either on the envelope or inside) to include my name along with the principals (parents).  It made me feel less invisible, if only for a few moments.

gollymolly2

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Re: Insulted by Thank you card
« Reply #57 on: November 23, 2013, 12:50:49 PM »
Sorry to bring forward an essentially finished thread but I have an OT but related style question.

I use et. al. fairly often in casual correspondence such as email or posts.  Is it correct to use it as a substitute when listing things as well as people?  For instance if I were to state: "I purchased fruits today; apples, bananas, peaches et. al.  Or should I use etc. instead?

Slightly related to the actual topic, I remember as a smaller child that I was always sorta happy when a Christmas card arrived that was addressed (either on the envelope or inside) to include my name along with the principals (parents).  It made me feel less invisible, if only for a few moments.

Et al is for people. Etc is for things.