8 Secretly Aggressive Email Phrases And When To Use Them

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If you work in an office, you probably get approximately one billion emails a day with all sorts of corporate phrases that no one actually says in real life. Honestly, the fact that emojis and GIFs are semi-taboo in the corporate email world is beyond my understanding. Yes, I’m that millennial.

The worst part of email is that you never know what the f*ck people are TRYING to say. Sometimes it feels like people are trying to be so politically correct in corporate chatter that meanings get muddled. Like does following up actually mean, “why the heck did you not read my message?” (hint: yes, it does).  

Have you ever asked a co-worker a question and had them come back with something like, “Per my last note”… To have your stomach drop and be like, “ouch”. This feels… passive-aggressive?! You’re not alone.

What’s a straightforward girl boss to do?!

To help you understand all the work drams coming your way in your inbox (grab some popcorn, babes), we have gladly written out a full-on dictionary (ok, eight) secretly aggressive email phrases, and what they mean. So next time you have that stomach drop feeling at work you can totally understand it! Lucky freaking you.

Here are 8 secretly aggressive email phrases and what they mean.

“Per My Last Message”


This means: Why didn’t you pay attention to my last message?! Your colleague is basically telling you to f*ck off and they already told you this answer. Freaking ouch.

This phrase is basically like saying, no I’m not going to just simply answer the question you asked. I’m going to acknowledge that you are literally an idiot and you should have more carefully read my email. I don’t love this phrase because odds are if someone is asking you a question that you already know the answer to, there was something unclear in your last email.

“Please Advise”

This means: No, I’m not going to make a decision, you make one. Maybe you’re in an argument between two people and need them to make decisions for you, or maybe you’ve just had enough for one day. Whatever it is, this statement is passive-aggressive because you could just say, “what do you think?!”

“To Clarify”

This means: Something was misunderstood. Must clarify in a politically correct way so there’s not some massive confusion and yet, I still look like the good guy.

PS. I like this one.

“Thank You in Advance”

This means: You haven’t agreed to what I’m about to ask you, but the expectation is that you are going to do it anyway. If you are asking someone to go above and beyond for you, skip this phrase! It makes it sound like you are forcing someone to do something for you they haven’t agreed to yet.

“Following Up”

This means: You haven’t responded to my email in the normal time frame. I’m going to remind you that you haven’t responded by started my message with “following up”. Lol. Like I know you’ve emailed me three times, of course, you’re following up. (Although being the extremely timely person that I am I use this one….every day)

“Checking In On Updates”

This means: You probably didn’t finish a project or the person emailing you has crazy expectations. They want updates sooner than you provided, so they passive-aggressively emailed you about it. And although you want to replay back something equally as passiv- aggressive like, “k, thanks” you can’t. Ugh.

“Friendly Reminder”

This means: I mean, how many different ways are there to say, “f*cking respond to me?!!?” I could probably think of a million more. Once again another passive-aggressive way of saying, you didn’t respond so writing you another message to force you to email back to me. K cool.

“Not Sure If You Got My Last Message”

This means: Trying to be nice and be like, “I know you saw my last note but didn’t respond so I’m going to try and play innocent.”

There you have it. Is your mind blown from what *actually* is going on in your inbox? Put your favorite phrases below!

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Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (4); majorphilebrity, _loxsmith_, betchesluvthis, disco_infern0 / Twitter; When’s Happy Hour

Who Is Hope Hicks And What Highlighter Does She Use?

If when you hear the words “Donald Trump” and “former model” in the same sentence, you immediately jump to sexual assault allegations or Forbes-magazine-spanking scandals, you’re not alone and I really can’t blame you. However, there’s a former model currently working in the White House as an indentured servant named Melania who might accidentally be the one who brings down the Trump presidency from the inside. So who exactly is Hope Hicks and how did she get a job in the White House with no prior political experience? Here’s what we know.

Who TF Is Hope Hicks?

Trump’s third attempt at choosing a White House Communications Director that will last more than 10 days (RIP “the Mooch”) is former model and NYC publicist, Hope Hicks. Hicks worked at a PR firm representing major celebs like the Trump family, and specifically Ivanka, who poached her to work on b0th expanding her clothing brand and then modeling her pieces as well. When clients come into our office, they usually ask me to fetch them coffee or point out the bathrooms instead of offering me my big modeling break, but I’m not bitter or anything.

Before she was a big shot publicist, Ms. Hicks still had her finger on the pulse of Manhattan’s elite in another way. Before she modeled for Ralph Lauren and Ivanka, Hope was on the cover of the Gossip Girl spinoff series about Jenny Humphrey called It Girl. Just when you thought little J could literally not get any more insufferable, she ends up working to desperately make Trump look sane in the public eye.

Ivanka clearly trusted Hope because she looks hot in her clothes to promote her family in a positive light, which led to the Big D hiring her as Communications Director because she looks hot in Ivanka’s clothes even though she’s only 29 and has no political experience whatsoever. While that is seriously impressive and, like, inspirational to young bad business bitches everywhere, I can’t think of any person in their twenties who is actually qualified to hold an official government position. Every year before 30 is still a shit-show and deserves to be treated as such before it’s socially unacceptable to end the night wasted and asleep with a bowl of mac and cheese in your bed.

Why Is She In Trouble?

As a Communications Director, it’s Hicks’ job to attempt to filter the insane shit that leaks out of Trump’s mouth to at least make him look semi-sane and to stop him from saying something that will get him in tons of trouble (TBH she’s doing a pretty terrible job as far as that’s concerned). One of her responsibilities is literally to type out Trump’s tweets as he dictates to her through greasy mouthfuls of McDonald’s, and my question is just…how could you let those get posted? A small part of your educated, press-savvy brain must be rotting away having to use the wrong “there/their” and punctuating everything with indiscriminate caps lock. I know I have a slight aneurysm every time I read one.

At the moment, Hope may be in hot water now that it was revealed that she and Trump allegedly drafted the statement together that claimed Donald Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyers had nothing to do with dirt on Hillary Clinton and was about lifting sanctions on Russian adoption. You’re not exactly proving your PR skills, girl, because that is the least believable lie I’ve ever heard since those few months when Kylie Jenner tried to pretend she doesn’t have lip injections. It’s (literally) written all over your face.

Mark Corallo, a former legal spokesman for the Trump administration who resigned last July, claims that Hope told him Don Jr.’s emails about the meetings “will never get out,” which some might take as a threat that she plans to cover them up and prohibit anyone from seeing them – AKA obstruction of muhfuckin’ justice. Corallo plans to testify to Mueller that Hicks may have had knowledge of or intent to obstruct justice, which would lump Trump himself right into the equation if they cite the statement they drafted together about the Russia meeting.

It’s also worth noting that the PR firm Hicks previously worked for was owned by a guy who made his name as Harvey Weinstein’s publicist, so it’s clear that Hicks learned her techniques from the top of the covering-up-dubious-behavior food chain.

Oh Little H, did you learn nothing from Blair Waldorf? The secret to a good lie is making sure no one ever finds out. If you really have something to do with holding back information, it looks like your “hope” of keeping your job – and staying out of jail – might get squashed. I hope you know how to model orange jumpsuits. XOXO.

What Highlighter Does She Use?

Unfortunately Hope has not spoken out on this important topic, but hopefully Robert Mueller can include this line of questioning her in deposition. The American people deserve to know.

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How To Send A Decently Professional Work Email

Sending emails is the most awkward way of communicating. You’re literally writing a letter to someone, which requires an intro, a body, and a signature. Alas, it is a way of life now, so you best know how to write one. Here’s how you should be starting and ending your emails.

Regarding formalities

You could go back and forth with someone all day, starting email after email with, “Hi Marshall” and signing each with, “Regards.” You don’t need that kind of uppity corporate nonsense in your life. If you work with the person, they don’t need (or deserve) an introduction email after email. Similarly, if you’re emailing a client, respectfully start the initial email with an intro, but cut it off after that. If it’s a new day and you’re sending a follow-up, it’s probably a good idea to greet them again.

If you’ve been away for a while and come back with a million and one questions for someone, give that email an opener, such as:

“Glad to be back—a few things I wanted to discuss.”

Same goes for if someone you work with went away.

“Hope you had a great time in Vegas and didn’t get any VD!”

Except not the VD part. That was a test.

When it comes to your point

Get to it—quickly. Aside from like, newspapers, I can’t think of a more boring thing to read than emails. So please, get creative. There’s nothing worse then recycling the same generic email jargon. “Hope you’re doing well.” “Attached, you’ll find…”

Cut the crap. I can’t tell you how many people will appreciate it.

When it comes to actually sending

Timing is important. Avoid sending emails at, say, the end of the day (particularly if you know when your coworkers/boss leave). They’ve rounded their day up and thrown in the towel until tomorrow. Don’t fuck with their groove by sending them a hefty email.

Remember: You’re in control of your emails. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through, within reason. Now get out there and send a professional and semi-exciting (but not too exciting) email.

Images: Giphy; Shutterstock.com