As Per My Last Email, Can We Just Not Use That Phrase Anymore?

It's been voted one of the most annoying email cliches – and for good reason.
As per my last email
Marje via Getty Images / HuffPost UK
As per my last email

You’re scrolling through your emails and one of the first line previews stops you dead. “As per my last email,” it reads. You shudder ever-so-slightly, brace yourself and click.

The phrase is considered one of the most annoying email cliches there is, with a survey by employee platform Perkbox finding 33% of people just really can’t be doing with it . To be honest, we’re quite surprised it’s not more.

The phrase is basically writhing with passive aggressiveness and, to a certain degree, smugness. It screams, “YOU DIDN’T PROPERLY READ MY OTHER EMAIL YOU DINGBAT. CAN’T YOU READ?!” It’s also, let’s face it, a massive power play.

Admittedly, it is annoying when someone doesn’t read your email properly (or at all), but perhaps it’s time to take a step back and remember we’re all super busy these days, and to cut each other a little slack.

There’s no need to be smug or shirty in your response to a colleague or client – we’re only human, email sucks, we all make mistakes, and sometimes we skim-read a message instead of absorbing every last word like it’s poetry.

Lucy Hume, associate director of Debrett’s, the etiquette experts, warns that people should think carefully before hitting ‘send’ on an email with loaded language – especially if we’ve written in haste or emotions are running high.

So how can you tell someone they need to read your previous email properly without using a snarky “as per my last email” in the mix?

Hume says there are a few that work, such as ‘please see below’ or ‘as I mentioned before’.

“If a more direct stance is needed, highlight the section in question and ask that they kindly refer to it,” she adds, before the politest email signoff HuffPost has ever received. Well, Hume does work for an etiquette company, after all.

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