Public opinion today generally endorses the verdict of the Departmental Committee on the Teaching of English in England (1921):
We have no hesitation in reporting that Commercial English is not only objectionable to all those who have the purity of the language at heart, but also contrary to the true interests of commercial life, sapping its vitality and encouraging the use of dry, meaningless, formulae just where vigorous and arresting English is the chief requisite.
The Committee added this footnote:
Some readers of the Report may be unacquainted with "commercial English". We therefore give a few examples of the words and idiom in the dialect:— prox (next month); ult (last month); of even date (of today); beg to or hereby beg to (a meaningless prefix, found before verbs of all kinds, e.g. "I beg to inform you" "hereby beg to say" etc.); Your favour, Your esteemed favour, yours (your letter); I am in receipt of your favour, Your favour duly to hand, or, more familiarly, Yours to hand (Your letter has reached me); per (by); as per (in accordance with); same (it, e.g. "Yours to hand and we beg to say we shall give a11 attention to same"); make or quote you (make you an offer, e.g. "We can make you a discount of 6 per cent", "My traveller had the pleasure of quoting you for the order"); The favour of your immediate reply will oblige (I shall be glad to hear from you at once).
To these might be added Please find, Thanking you in anticipation, the use of item to mean anything the writer pleases and that curious piece of tortuous politeness Your good self.
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