Is it correct and polite to end business letter with "Noted. Thank you" as an answer to a letter informing about task completion?

  • This is brief, but that does not make it impolite.
    – Davo
    Jan 25 '19 at 13:39
  • It is extremely curt. Although nothing about the words is overtly impolite, the brevity of the message might be interpreted as cold, impersonal, or insincere. This kind of brevity in an email might not be deemed impolite because many use emails as mere notes. But a formal letter of 3 words is almost certain to be viewed as insulting. Jan 25 '19 at 13:59
  • I often end business emails that way to people or companies with whom I often correspond but my choice would always depend on the situation and individuals concerned. In general, they know me and that my response is not intended to be anything but confirmation that I have received their message. Jan 25 '19 at 15:31
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    It is not just its brevity which makes the response seem cold. Saying "noted" is a way of acknowledging a message without revealing what one thinks about it. It is like saying "I shall give your proposal the attention it deserves." It could mean "I think this is important and will give it serious consideration." or it could mean "I intend to throw it into the trash can the moment you leave the room." Rather than saying "noted" it is better to express approval: "Thank you for taking care of this problem." or say how one intends to act: "Thank you. I'll let the the team know."
    – David42
    Jan 25 '19 at 16:51
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    I find nothing at all wrong with this. But if you're asking if it's polite or not, that's a matter of opinion (as the contrary responses have indicated), and you're not going to get a good answer. Jan 25 '19 at 17:12

Brevity in writing can be mistaken as impolite because there is not enough material to determine tone, so the reader can find a tone (based on their expectations or personal biases) that is different from what the writer intended. Brevity in speech doesn’t have the same problem because the listener can hear the speaker’s tone directly rather than having to guess it from the words chosen.

Also, brevity of words can be interpreted as brevity of thought: if you didn’t put much effort into your response, then how much thought did you put into what you responded to?

Both of these factors can be canceled out if the person you’re replying to knows this is just your personality/style, but strangers don’t have that benefit.

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