How to pad out a bullshit work email

DO you find a lot of your emails could be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but worry it will look like you’re not earning your salary? Here are some great phrases that add absolutely nothing.

‘Thanks very much for bringing this to my attention’ 

An excellent way to start an email, by complimenting the person that sent it and taking up the best part of a line. So much longer and more professional in tone than ‘thanks’ or ‘good point’, which effectively mean the same thing. 

‘I really do see where you’re coming from on this one’ 

Why write a succinct ‘Yes’ or ‘I see what you mean’ when you can do so in a much more sincere, long-winded fashion that implies that you’ve painstakingly considered all of the issues at stake? Add in a ‘really’ for that extra bit of length. 

‘It would be greatly appreciated if you were able to…’

Or any overly polite phrasing that takes up more space than ‘Could you…’, which isn’t particularly rude or abrupt anyway so this is just waffle. Wonderful, wonderful waffle.

‘There is definitely an awful lot for us to think about here’ 

Shows that you understand the issue is complex, without bothering to offer any meaningful answers to the points raised. Conveys an image of professionalism and teamwork, but more importantly it takes up nearly a line. 

‘Having said that, on careful reflection, we’re probably still minded to…’ 

This phrase tells the recipient that you are going along with your original decision, making your email discussion superfluous. However ‘minded’ has a nice olde worlde Victorian feel and it’s a whole 11 unnecessary words. You can probably get away with pressing send now. 


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Your guide to bollocks classed as 'news' these days

IN the old days news was the assassination of JFK or a big war, not a burger with slightly different sauce at McDonald’s. Here’s what to avoid to prevent your brain turning to sludge.

Some bullshit or other on Twitter

Twitter is ideal for people who love a good moan about finding too much soil in the bag of potatoes they bought. Which is up to them, but do we need a news story about it? Also avoid stories about furious JK Rowling-type Twitter rows. The Guardian will not be giving you those hours of your life back. 


For those not hip to this clunky young person’s term, it means ‘in case you missed it’. Or: ‘This story got a lot of hits yesterday and we’re struggling today so here is some old news presented as new news’. It probably also means ‘Yes, we think our readers are idiots’.

Readers react

A whole article consisting entirely of Facebook comments and Tweets about a news story from a few days ago, opening up the possibility of readers reacting to readers’ reactions and so on in an infinite loop until the fabric of time and space is ripped open forever.

Celebrities wearing clothes or very few clothes

Who’d have thought a female celebrity might wear a nice dress? And there’s a Z-list soap star wearing a bikini on the beach, not a suit of armour as you might expect. What’s weird is not only that anyone cares that Hugh Jackman dresses casually while popping out for some croissants, but there isn’t exactly a shortage of other news right now.

Anything with a headline that includes the word ‘revealed’

You will click. The article will not be what you think. A little piece of you will die inside. Do this too often and you will turn into a jaded nihilist who believes everything is worthless and disappointing.