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ON LANGUAGE, LINGUISTICS, ACADEMIA AND INDEPENDENT SCHOLARSHIP

the rogue linguist

Thank You for Your Message

Overly Honest Out-of-Office Messages

thank-you-for-your-msg-im-not-here

Susanna Wolff’s “Sorry for the delayed response” article in the New Yorker last month gave me so many of the lols I couldn’t resist having a go.

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Thank you for your message. Recently I sent out an awkward tweet in which I made a joke about AIDS or whatever. Whoops. Big mistake. I’m riding out the storm in a remote shack with no internet or toilet. Hence, not at my desk.

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Thank you for your message. Shit, this is super awkward. I knew you’d be emailing today and I definitely didn’t want to reply, so I totally meant to put on an out-of-office. But I forgot, so here’s an actual reply masquerading as an automated one. I’m not here. I mean, I know it looks like I am, but take it from me, I’m really not.

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Thanks for your email. As you know, I’m an academic, and I’d rather chew off my own arm than engage in one-to-one contact. As of 10.30 this morning I’d already had three interactions with the other human beings and that was quite enough for one day, thank you very much. Ergo, this out-of-office.

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Thanks for getting in touch. Because you contact me every so often to ‘touch base’ and I don’t want to be doing any of the touching with you ever, I’ve set up a rule in my inbox that says this is the response you’ll receive from me until the end of time. Don’t be offended – not everyone gets this kind of personalised treatment from me. Really, you should feel special. Touched, even.

***Email and I have split up. I could no longer stand the sight of his interface Click To Tweet

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Thanks for your email. I’m currently on a field trip in the Mongolian steppe collecting data for my next research project. Okay, you got me. I came back in June last year. But pretending to work on vowel harmony in Proto-Mongolic gives me greater inner peace than fielding questions about teaching schedules.

***

Good Day.. This is ALison’s mum. She asked me to “screen” her “E-mails”. She’ll be returning to work just as soon as the rash recedes and her Father gives her the all-clear.

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Thank you for your message. Email and I have regretfully decided to go our separate ways. The decision was mutual. Actually, who am I kidding. Things had been souring for a while, but towards the end I could barely stand the sight of his interface. In fact, giving email the flick felt so good I’ve got rid of my phone and Facebook too. It’s now just the two of us – me and Twitter, Twitter and I. All communications with me will henceforth need to be in 140 characters or less.

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Alison Edwards PhD

I am a linguistics researcher, translator, editor, writer, and lover of tennis, infrastructure, and collared shirts done all the way up. Read more

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