Everything Language and Grammar

Statement Enclosed

Posted by languageandgrammar on February 10, 2011

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever and Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities.

Envelopes arrive at my house nearly every week with the phrase “Statement enclosed” stamped on the front, and the statement inside is always the same: You owe me money.

Do they really think that I’m not going to figure out that it’s just another bill?

Do they think that I’m going to rip into the envelope thinking that they’re making some other statement, such as Just pay us whatever you think is fair.

Maybe it’s not a new trend to call a bill a “statement” in order to make it seem more innocuous. Maybe it’s only used in cases when there might also be a zero balance or a positive balance, but it’s similar to saying “previously owned car” instead of “used car” and “career opportunities” instead of “help wanted.”

All I know is that I wish they’d make a different statement every once in a while.

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