Peanut Gallery Q’s

I bet you thought I was on summer vacation for two weeks, eh? I wish! Au contraire, Pierre. I was in meetings all day, all week, generating a 200-page document. I need a vacation badly after that. And that document is still not done, so work continues.

Anyway, I’ve got a couple of questions from the Peanut Gallery clogging my very full inbox, so I’ll address them and check them off as done.

Jobin from Oman writes:
Q1: Would you please clarify if I could use “receival” for “receiving something?”

Example: As you issue the material, please turn in the PO receival copy to me. Or is a more appropriate word “reception”?

A1: Neither. The noun for the verb “to receive” is “receipt.”

Examples:

When you send the shipment, please include a receipt with the purchase order number.

Please confirm receipt of the shipment. (confirm that you have received it)

Reception has a totally different meaning from receipt. A reception is a party after the wedding, or the front office where people are greeted.

Examples:
Q2: The reception doesn’t start until three hours after the wedding, so what are we supposed to do in between?
A2: We could sit in the hotel lobby and watch the people checking in at the reception desk and speculate about their life stories.

Ross from Oman, always a humorist, writes:
Q3: I would like to see you somehow incorporate an interrobang into one of these correspondences. Wouldn’t that be something?!
A3: What are you, NUTS?! The only appropriate place for an interrobang is in a comic strip or in dialogue in a novel, not in any professional or business writing.

Q4: What on earth is an interrobang, you ask?
A4: It’s a hybrid punctuation mark that is a combination of a question mark (?) for interrogation and an exclamation point (!), which is referred to as a “bang” in the printing industry. Usually the two single marks are used together, and the order doesn’t seem to matter, as both ?! and !? are used. However, there is actually a unicode for an interrobang symbol: ‽ It is formed by typing 203D, Alt+X (hold down Alt and X keys simultaneously).

Go ahead and try it. But it’s not even listed in Word under Symbols, although the double-bang or bang-bang (‼) is there, which is 203C, Alt+X. Note that they are closer together than two single marks (!!).

Moldy Oldie Fact:

Manual typewriters didn’t have exclamation points on the keyboard. One had to type an apostrophe ( ‘ ), then backspace and type a period ( . ), and that pretty much kept business writing free of such emotional outpouring for many years—which is still a good idea.

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