Congratulation<s?>: graduation

skydown13

Senior Member
Mandarin
My superior emailed me that he will be off work tomorrow because he is attending his son's graduation ceremony tomorrow. Is it ok to write "Congratulation! Enjoy the ceremony!" to respond in Email?
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    It's grammatically acceptable, but I fail to see why your superior should be congratulated for his son's accomplishment. Perhaps this is a cultural thing.

    (When it is appropriate, we say "congratulations.")

    "Enjoy the ceremony" works, if you feel the need to say something other than "OK."

    Or, I might say "please congratulate your son on his accomplishment."

    [cross-posted]
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I think it's not unusual to say "Congratulations" to a parent for a child's wedding, the birth of a grandchild or a child's graduation. It is a milestone in their lives as much as it is for the child, even though it is not directly their achievement.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Or, I might say, "Please congratulate your son on his accomplishment."
    :thumbsup: I agree; I wouldn't congratulate the father.

    I might alternatively say, "Please relay my congratulations to your son." (same meaning)
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    It doesn't sound too absurd, to me, to congratulate the parent, and for the reasons that James gives. If parents are to be blamed for so many of the ills in the world, it seems only fair to offer them a pat on the back once in a while. Perhaps 'you must be very proud' might be seen as a more appropriate blandishment, but I'd say it amounts to much the same thing.

    I can't, though, see how it could be thought appropriate for an employee to be indirectly extending congratulations to their boss's children. This, to me, seems to presume the existence of a relationship that likely does not exist.
    Is the boss really going to forward such congratulations to his son? I think not.
    But if he did, what's the son going to make of, 'oh, and by the way, employee number 13 offers their congratulations on your achievement'?
     

    neil.corrigan12

    New Member
    english - Australia
    I think culture plays a great part whether we congratulate on a parent for his son's graduation or not. Personally, "Congratulations" sounds better. Relaying your congratulations to his son seems acceptable as well.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I can't, though, see how it could be thought appropriate for an employee to be indirectly extending congratulations to their boss's children. This, to me, seems to presume the existence of a relationship that likely does not exist.
    Here, Beryl, if an employee and his immediate superior are friendly enough that the superior has shared the fact of a family event (such as a child's graduation) with the employee, it would be entirely appropriate (and respectful).
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I disagree. I have the same reaction that Beryl does. Why would I ask my boss to convey my congratulations to his son if I haven't met him? My relationship is with my boss.

    [edit] Thinking about it a bit more, I can imagine saying "Congratulations to your daughter!" (although I don't expect him to pass them on), but I can't imagine "please convey..." It seems at once extremely formal and a bit presumptuous.
     
    Last edited:

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    This seems to boil down to the issue of whether a parent should be given the "credit" for achievements of their offspring or whether the offspring should be regarded as independent human beings, deserving of credit for their own successes.

    As such, it doesn't appear to be a language issue.
     
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