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January 22, 2008

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Greg May

I think you are on to something. I would be especially careful about using this term with lawyers. I am a lawyer who did business litigation for a decade, and this phrase was always used in a threatening manner, as in "If I do not hear back from you by Friday, I will have no choice bu to seek relief from the court, including sanctions against you."

Lynn

Greg, thank you for this caution. "I will have no choice but" is strong language few of us would want to echo.

Lynn

marie

"Phone me if you get a moment, or I will follow up on Friday." That sounds just as threatening to me. I prefer "Phone me if you get a moment, or I can follow up on Friday." I'm not sure why "can" sounds softer than "will." But it does.

Lynn

Marie, I agree. "Can" does sound softer.

Lynn

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