I am writing a request to my manager and have drafted the last two sentences as follows:

I trust in god and his judgement, and I trust that virtue lies in his bestowal and his prevention, and that is what encouraged me to write to you. May it finds your support and leniency.

I am wondering if leniency is a good word to use in this context. My purpose is to politely and somewhat deferentially appeal to the recipient's kindness, compassion, moral sense, etc.

This is not a question about whether it's appropriate to refer to "God," etc., in the social context, nor for strategic advice.

I wonder if kind-heartedness or another term might better express what I intend?

  • 1
    You need to specify where you are as in my country (UK) the whole thing sounds really, really strange.
    – mdewey
    Nov 26, 2021 at 17:13
  • 3
    It would be very odd to invoke the name of God in a business email. A person is lenient when they punish someone less severely than might have been expected, so leniency is not the word you want here. Nov 26, 2021 at 17:25
  • 4
    I don't know what is usual in Muslim countries, but in most contexts it would be unprofessional to express a request in such an emotional manner. Something like "I hope you will consider my request" would be quite sufficient. Nov 26, 2021 at 17:46
  • 2
    @Kate I have seen comments online to the effect that OP's invocation of God is relatively common in everyday communication in some countries in Africa.
    – randomhead
    Nov 28, 2021 at 3:53
  • 1
    Why the close votes, folks? The question specifically asks about the appropriateness of the word leniency, which IMHO is not a request for proofreading. It does also ask for suggestions for alternatives, but that's not 'improving phrasing'... it's still a specific request about a specific word in the text.
    – JavaLatte
    Dec 11, 2021 at 6:23

2 Answers 2


We normally capitalize "God" in English, when we are talking about god in a monothesistic religion such as Christianity or Islam.

Find should be singular: may it find ... .

We do not know what kind of request or favor you asked.

We do not know if you have a cultural question, but it seems not. If the person you are writing to shares your culture, I think you can trust your natural feeling about how they will interpret the message.

Sometimes, when people write to bosses or "seniors" in English, there is a cultural difference, either related to ethnicity, "business" culture, or both.

I suppose that you have looked up these words, such as leniency and some synonyms.

In the “major” Standard Englishes, we do sometimes use lenient in the situation such as, "I did something wrong. I hope or trust that you will not punish or treat me too harshly."

However, it can also more generally mean "to be not too strict,” to be more compassionate and more flexible, less harsh, less rigid or more permissive with respect to setting or enforcing rules or expectations. And, if you are writing to someone of higher status, and you want to show respect for that status, then "leniency" might be quite a good word, because it suggests that you show respect for the person's position and their authority to decide.

If you are writing to someone from a very different background, then you should probably add some information to your question about that. People who use this site are from all around the world, so some of us will have different reactions and opinions.

If I don't know anything else, I suppose that "leniency" might be a great word, because it came into your mind, or you found it and chose it based on your background and experience. If the person you are writing to is from a simliar background and experience, then the chance is quite high that they will understand it as you meant it.

You can probably choose the best word based on your feelings. Kindness. Compassion. Grace. Wise consideration. Etc.


The examples of leniency in the Cambridge Dictionary refer only to criminal matters, so unless you have done something illegal, or your manager has meted out a punishment that is far harsher than would be legal in the UK, it's probably much stronger than you require. Without knowing what you are asking for from your manager, it is impossible suggest a suitable alternative.

This NGram graph shows that leniency is often used in relation to judges, and never in relation to managers.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .