Monstrous Parlance

By Cyberquill 06/11/201214 Comments

I just received an email from that opens thus:

This message is to notify you that your Monster resume has expired, and is no longer searchable by employers.

Now, I’m not one to spaz out over trifles, but this kind of stuff really harshes my mellow; and I don’t mean the superfluous comma after expired or the missing accents on résumé.

What’s the sole purpose of an email? To convey a message. What’s the sole purpose of a message? To notify.

Therefore, as an alternative to prefacing what is obviously a message with a clause that says what it is, followed by a statement of its obvious purpose as if I might otherwise think the verbiage in front of me were not a message intended to notify me of something but a sample swatch for a wallpaper, may I suggest the following improvement:

Your Monster résumé has expired and is no longer searchable by employers.

Skip the accents for all I care. Just knock it off with fatuous prefatory fillers à la We’d like to inform you that… and like piffle from the department of the bleeping obvious.

Thank you.


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  • Richard

    However admirable your shortened version, might it leave a nervous reader anxious about unmentioned consequences of  allowing expiry of the résumé  and generate unnecessary correspondence?

    • Cyberquill

      I provided a shortened version of the first sentence, not a shortened version of the entire email. The rest of the email was fine, except for this part: 

      To reactivate your resume, go to the Manage Resumes page and select the action to change your status to “public”.

      Monster is an American company. I see no reason to pander to the British by putting the period outside the closing quote.

      • Richard

        As you know, the British place the period before the closing quote marks when the actual words used by the speaker are being reproduced. So ruthlessly was this drummed into me at school that I am besieged by self-doubt and guilt whenever I place a full stop outside closing inverted commas. 

        It seems to me that, when occasion requires, punctuation marks should be used twice. For example --

        Cyberquill states controversially, “I see no reason to pander to the British by putting the period outside the closing quote.”.

        That leaves no doubt that the two sentences, quoting and quoted, have been concluded and restores the special relationship.

        As for the single word public, it is not a sentence and does not require a full stop.

        • Richard

          Please convert the ‘T’ opening the penultimate paragraph in my preceding comment to lower case.

          • Richard

            and add a ‘-‘ before the ‘t’.

            • Cyberquill

              So now you’re using single quotes in place of double quotes? And what’s with the lower case “and” following the period in your preceding comment? You want me to correct that, too?

            • Richard

              I chose to start writing in Penguin. It’s all to do with freedom.
              Simply remove the period before the ‘a’.
              I’ve never heard of an n-dash, so I am forced to trust you.

            • Cyberquill

              An m-dash would probably be the correct variety in this case, but let’s not get hung up on the minutiae. 

        • Cyberquill

          Whether public requires a full stop or not, the full stop goes inside the quotes, because … well … because that’s just where it goes. Full stop. I mean period. 

          Any American who, either knowingly or subconsciously, puts commas and periods to the right of closing quotes hates his country. If I were the Department of Homeland Security, I’d be taking a close look at Monster, as such overt acts of anti-Americanism generally don’t occur in isolation.  

          Over my dead and unemployed body will I ever reactivate my résumé in a forum this blatantly subversive. 

          And closing quotes flanked by punctuation marks look sillier than all the millinage on display at the Queen’s jubilee combined. Sometimes relationships, no matter how special, must yield to aesthetics.

  • Richard

    It is a great sadness that the rebellious colonists are so wracked with guilt in cases of punctuation. Rest assured that Queen Elizabeth in all her merciful majesty will exercise due leniency in accordance with law.

    • Cyberquill

      In accordance with what law? British law? International law? Neither applies in the States. Besides, at present Her Majesty is too busy selecting the perfect hat for each of her numerous jubilee and birthday celebrations to exercise anything. 

  • Testazyk

    By some standards (albeit not mine) that message is the soul of brevity and fairly comma lean.  I’ve seen some that are more like this:

    “This message is being sent to you, for the purpose of notifying you, that effective immediately, the resume, that you have had on file with Monster, has been on our site past the expiration date and, accordingly, your Monster resume has expired, with respect to being searchable by potential employers.  Accordingly, your resume is no longer searchable, by employers who may be interested in viewing your resume, at this time. Thanking you in advance for your patience, understanding and cooperation.”

    • Cyberquill

      At least they’re thanking. Many others just want to thank or would like to thank and then never actually thank. 

      • Testazyk

        I never thought of that before but you’re right.  I’d like to thank you . . . but I won’t!

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