I’ve noticed a recent increase in the number of emails I receive that say things like “this is a polite reminder” or “this is a gentle reminder”. While there’s never anything in the message to contradict the sender’s choice of adjective, I always think that the perception of courtesy and gentility is in the eye of the beholder.
A similar phenomenon often appears in grant proposals, and again I’m inclined to think that any competent reviewer should be able to decide for themselves whether an award is prestigious or a lab world-renowned.
I’m all for blowing your own trumpet (especially in grant proposals, natch), but a mute is always an option… especially when you’re up against a tight word limit!
I could be wrong, though – what do you think?