How to tell off people politely

Discussion in 'English Only' started by x-boy, May 24, 2006.

  1. x-boy New Member

    I volunteer to help my university write a journal in a website. After spending hours on paragraphs I found a visitor to leave a note. He told me to edit one of the paragraphs as instructed. This guy has disguised himself to be several different visitors to make me follow. So he finally managed to change it. I didn't bother to ask him for assistance. No one in the group knows this anonymous person. Plus, ooks like an unhappy person in life I don't want to deal with. it's not his job to judge my work and he knows nothing about it. He l

    What should I say in a polite manner to get him out of my way, please? I couldn't figure out what a native speaker would say in this scenario. ( I know only in my native language!) Thanks in advance.
  2. Yôn Senior Member

    I would write him an e-mail/letter saying this:

    Dear name,

    Our writing group thanks you for your input, however, our online journal is not one relying on audience advice for support or help. It is our goal to create a journal all our own, and your comments (however helpful) do not help us to achieve this goal.

    We hope you do not take offense to our request that you no longer offer assistance to either myself or other members of the group.

    We value you as a reader and hope that you continue to visit our site.

    Best regards,
    your name
  3. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    One of the cleverest and most polite ways to deal with this is simply to say, "Thank you for your suggestion. I will take it under advisement."

    This means, really, nothing! It means you will think about what he said and then do whatever you want to do--which is probably nothing at all!

    If you say this same thing every time Mr. Anonymous sends you a message, he may eventually "get the message" and stop writing.

    P.S. I just saw Yon's suggestion and it is very good! You might use it the first time Mr. Anonymous writes to you, and use this one after that.
  4. Hi Joelline,

    This is a new phrase to my BE ears. Does it mean "I will give it consideration"?

    Thank you.

  5. french4beth

    french4beth Senior Member

    I would keep it short and sweet; in addition to joelline's suggestion, you could just say "Thank you for your feedback." You are not reacting to what this person has done (he/she seems to want attention of some kind, whether negative or positive). Personally, I would not say anything further, as the person may expect a response (and thus could continue submitting suggestions).

    This can also be used in conversation if someone offers an unwelcome comment. When a person makes a negative comment, he/she is trying to get a reaction out of you (whether or not they're right or wrong).

    I remember a seminar I took a few years back - it was suggested that the best way to deal with a difficult person (on the phone or in person) is to show no emotion, but repeat the same neutral, monotonous phrase over and over and over (in a neutral tone of voice), and eventually the person would back down (I find that this technique works well).

    Yes, LRV, you are correct in your interpretation.
  6. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    Yes, more or less. To take something under "advisement" usually means that you will look at it (a courtesy glance) and then file it away. It most cases, this advice is put into the "round file"; the one that sits squarely under your desk where other unsolicited advice is commonly collected.
  7. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    Hi Your Majesty,

    GenJen and french4beth are, of course, correct: "I will take it under advisement" is the kind of phrase you never want to see in a message that you receive!


  8. Hi Joelline,

    Many thanks to you, GenJen and French4Beth. I'm sure this must be an AE usage as I've never heard of it before. 'Twill be added to my "Language Notes" folder.

  9. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    I always look to Miss Manners for guidance:

    "What, then, does one do with one's justified anger? Miss Manners' meager arsenal consists only of the withering look, the insistent and repeated request, the cold voice, the report up the chain of command and the tilted nose."
  10. maxiogee Banned

    What is wrong with the blunt, forthright explanation of the offender's faults?
  11. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    Why, Max, whatever could you mean? ;) Something like THIS, perhaps? Well, we're just far too genteel and mild-mannered to ever consider anything so direct. :p
  12. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    As we AE speakers love to say, "You go, maxiogee!"
  13. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Greetings x-boy. Welcome to the forums.
    Why not thank the person for his kind offers of advice, and then ask him to advise the management of the site on proper procedures to deal with such dishonest and unethical people as may appear there using more than one name?
  14. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    Well, sometimes it gets the speaker in as much trouble as the offender. Not always, of course, and it's more fun that way, but....
    I like the simple "thank you for your advice." You can take satisfaction in either of these possibilities: he will understand that you don't really care what he thinks, so your point is made with subtlety; or he will not understand that you don't care, in which case he is not only arrogant, he's also not very bright.

    Edit - of course I mean that you ignore his advice completely, after your polite comment.
  15. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Just in case you decide to go with Jon's suggestion, I have a small correction:
  16. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    English / England
    Chuckle, I had just read this thread before I came here.

    I would advise ignoring the pest, any exhange just protracts the issue!
  17. maxiogee Banned

    In the immortal lines of Sam Goldwyn, (did he paraphrase Groucho Marx, or was it vice versa?) include me out! :eek:

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