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Thread: why do people say "I am in receipt of" something

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    Member SandyD's Avatar
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    why do people say "I am in receipt of" something

    instead of "I have received"?


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  3. #2
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: why do people say "I am in receipt of" something

    Use of passive voice lends an air of authority?

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    Member SandyD's Avatar
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    Re: why do people say "I am in receipt of" something

    Yet writing instructors discourage use of passive voice. At least in my experience.

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    Re: why do people say "I am in receipt of" something

    Quote Originally Posted by SandyD
    Yet writing instructors discourage use of passive voice. At least in my experience.
    They should, anyway. Nevertheless, as UA points out, some believe rather stubbornly that the passive voice gives language a rhetorical fluorish. It's difficult to say exactly why that is--I think it might come from the language of "officialdom," which is to say, the language of law, bureaucracy.

    Pay attention next time you see a police officer talking about nabbing a suspected killer: "The suspect was apprehended by the officer on the scene. It came to our attention when the suspect was under surveillance..." instead of: "The officer apprehended the suspect; we suspected after weeks of surveillance...."
    Last edited by Falls City Beer; 12-10-2005 at 08:44 PM.

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    Member SandyD's Avatar
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    Re: why do people say "I am in receipt of" something

    Oh sure ... I see it all the time. I work for an insurance company. Seems like so much clutter to me. Noncommital rather than authoritative.

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    Re: why do people say "I am in receipt of" something

    Quote Originally Posted by SandyD
    Oh sure ... I see it all the time. I work for an insurance company. Seems like so much clutter to me. Noncommital rather than authoritative.
    Exactly. Filling up the air with noise.

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: why do people say "I am in receipt of" something

    Dear Professor Burns (an accounting professor) finally broke me of using passive voice whenever writing professionally or scholarly. I still struggle with it, thank goodness that even the low end word processing programs have grammar checks. Then there's my boss, who also knew Burns, gets a few snide "Burns would flunk you" from me after reading some of the wordy gobbedlygook he writes.
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    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: why do people say "I am in receipt of" something

    A shocking number of public relations professionals write in passive voice. Rampant hackery.
    Makes all the routine posts.

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    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: why do people say "I am in receipt of" something

    There are two things that people say that bug me. The first is the expression "could care less", which, of course is meant to convey a sense of indifference. What it really means, though, is that there is a level of uncaring that they have yet to reach, so they're not as indifferent as they could be.

    The other is the use of the word "I" in an attempt to sound proper, when the correct word is "me", as in "They went to the game with Joe and I".

    Slightly off-topic, but sorta related...Why is everything in the TV news business today "Breaking News"? "Breaking News this" and "Breaking News that"... Even if there's been little change in the story for the past four hours, it's still breaking news.

    My other pet peeve with TV news is the expression "NBC News has learned...". I guess that conveys that they have really been doing some serious investigating better than saying "Some guy just called on the phone and told us..."?

    Help stamp out, eliminate, and do away with redundancy.

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    Mon chou Choo vaticanplum's Avatar
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    Re: why do people say "I am in receipt of" something

    Quote Originally Posted by macro
    The other is the use of the word "I" in an attempt to sound proper, when the correct word is "me", as in "They went to the game with Joe and I".
    If they're trying to sound proper this way, they're grammatically incorrect. This is the object of a preposition and should be "me". If, however, someone says "he's better than I," it does sound stuffy and pretentious, but it's actually correct. The easiest way to figure this out is to take out part of the sentence in the former case ("They went to the game with I" is obviously wrong) or add in the part that's missing in the latter ("he's better than I am").

    My pet peeve along these lines is the word "myself". It's a recent craze to use "myself" in everything. "He and myself," "bring it to myself," or my personal favorite, "Myself and John will be at lunch..." All of these are wrong and make me want to kill people.
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    Re: why do people say "I am in receipt of" something

    Don't get me started on grammar. I will use the passive voice sometimes if I want to poke fun at people who use it seriously. There are a few other ones that really drive me nuts, and I have touched on some of them on here before.

    There, their, they're. Get them straight.

    Using a plural pronoun when talking about one person in an attempt to avoid being gender specific. The word "their" cannot refer to one person. "An employee should do their job" is not grammatically correct. If you must be PC, at least say his/her, but not their.

    Plurals don't get an apostrophe before the s. My wife and I have 2 cars, not 2 car's.

    I can be really pedantic when it comes to grammar, so I will stop now. I don't need to get too carried away with this.

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: why do people say "I am in receipt of" something

    Quote Originally Posted by OldRightHander
    There, their, they're. Get them straight.
    Does anyone else have trouble typing the wrong homonyms on message boards such as this won even though ewe are thinking of the write won? For example, I often type the wrong to, too, or two, even though I mean two use the write won.

    Or am I just a dork (as if that is the determining factor ) ???
    Last edited by traderumor; 12-12-2005 at 11:38 AM.
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    Resident optimist OldRightHander's Avatar
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    Re: why do people say "I am in receipt of" something

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor
    Does anyone else have trouble typing the wrong homonyms on message boards such as this one even though you are thinking of the right one? For example, I often type the wrong to, too, or two, even though I mean to use the right one.

    Or am I just a dork (as if that is the determining factor ???
    I have caught myself doing that at times, but I try to proofread my posts for grammar and spelling before I submit them, and then if I catch something I will go back and edit it. I'm perhaps a bit too picky.

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: why do people say "I am in receipt of" something

    Quote Originally Posted by OldRightHander
    I have caught myself doing that at times, but I try to proofread my posts for grammar and spelling before I submit them, and then if I catch something I will go back and edit it. I'm perhaps a bit too picky.
    You can see what happens when I proofread
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  16. #15
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: why do people say "I am in receipt of" something

    I wrote in passive voice for 20 years. A writing instructor broke me of the habit. It was a real struggle.

    I've turned on passive voice check in Word's grammar check. I still have lapses. It's like being an alcoholic.

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