Business Writing

Talk, tips, and best picks for writers on the job.

Syntax Training | Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Share this page

« Copyeditors Killed in Style Conflict | Main | Book Review: Better Business Writing »

January 14, 2013



I think anxiously is perfect, Lynn. You prefaced it with your assessment that "we fear a bit for her safety". Anxiety reflects that concern.


Ooh! Good topic. I felt that your quotes above captured my thoughts. I agree that most people use the two interchangably and that they imply, to my ear, two different things. I would probably use "anxiously awaiting" and mean "eagerly awaiting" because anxiously awaiting is so frequently used to mean both. Frequently, when I'm awaiting someone, I am both anxious and eager. This dual feeling is all the more prounounced when the house is not clean yet. "Please get here, but not before I get done vacuuming the living room."

Randy Averill

Although it's certainly appropriate to have a fair amount of anxiety in the situation described, I would try to avoid the word anxious so as to reassure Carol.

The fact that Carol raised the issue immediately seems to indicate that she's already anxious about the trip. Her friends need to be reassuring at that point and help her make the most of it. I vote for eagerly awaiting her return.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Terry, Jennifer, and Randy. Thanks for answering my question.

Terry, like you, I think "anxiously" is perfect in Elizabeth's sentence. You got exactly what I wanted to communicate. Yet I like Randy's take on the question.

Randy, how thoughtful of you to think about using "eagerly" to help Carol feel calm. I believe you caught the undercurrent of the converation.

Jennifer, I loved your example! I feel that same way, eagerly awaiting company, yet anxiously hoping the house will be clean enough before they arrive.


Zara Fletcher

Both words are really confusing, but this could get rid of depending on how they are used. These terms could mean desirous but I think anxious is the deeper one. The term “anxious” may also imply something feared of or something you are concerned about. Based on the situation given, I think the proper term to be used is anxious.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

"Desirous" is an interesting synonym for "eager," although it's a bit fancy for business writing.


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Share this page
© 2005-present - Syntax Training - All Rights Reserved