As a valued customer, we want you to write English.

An email hit my desk for review. Not literally, but you get the idea. Reading it caused a twitching vein to bulge from my forehead. Not literally, but you get the idea. Here are the first few words:

As a valued customer, we wanted to let you know about this special offer...

What's wrong with this? Well, for one thing, it's the same error - the exact same words in fact - that I corrected months ago. But more to the point, this is actual nonsense. It doen't make sense. The part that goes "as a valued customer" modifies "we" - "we" are not the customer, "we" are the company valuing the customer, also known as the "you" whom "we" wanted to inform about this special offer. [deep breath: inhale through mouth, exhale slowly through nose] OK, let me collect myself here. We could recast this line in at least two ways:

As a valued customer, you are eligible for this special offer...

or

Since you are a valued customer, we wanted to let you know about this special offer...

In the first case, the subject is "you" - the valued customer. In the second case, it's "we"- who want to let you know.

Now that I've translated the message into English, here's what's bending my pretzel: which way makes a better email? If you know the answer, drop me a line or click here.

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