Payment of the above account, which is now overdue at the date hereof, appears to have been overlooked, and I shall be glad to have your remittance by return of post, and oblige.
quoted in Sir Ernest Gowers, Plain Words, 1948
Commercialese is a colloquial name for the language in commercial
transactions that does not fit naturally in ordinary contexts. Features include the Latin abbreviations inst., ult., prox.
for this month, last month, next month
, as well as Latin prepositions re
; the use of longer words without real difference in meaning, such as receive, remittance
for get, payment
; and indirect pronouns and adverbs like the same
and the above
Such formulaic phrases as I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 12th inst. are no longer met in quite such rococo doses, but doubtless some common clichés could be extracted from more recent commercial correspondence. Here are some that can still occur:
- "Enclosed please find..."
- "I refer to your letter of ..."
- "Your letter of March 3 refers, and we confirm..."
- "Your letter is to hand and we advise that as per..."
- "Pursuant to Section 5 of the agreement..."
- "If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the writer."
In the way it is overly formal and uses somewhat fossilized style, it resembles officialese. It is different from advertising or sales jargon in that these often use consciously up-to-date and different language, even if it's equally daft, whereas commercialese proper is conservative and impersonal.
For more advice on plain English, see www.media-associates.co.nz/fpolish.html from which I took the list of modern examples.