Conversation starter

A few months ago, someone asked on Quora: “Why must at least one letter to the editor in every magazine contain the word kudos?”

Forbes managing editor Bruce Upbin replied:

I don’t think it is a must. The most frequently appearing phrases in our letters from readers are:

“Shame on you”
“I expected more from you”
“We expect this error/assertion/omission/confusion to be corrected ASAP”
“I’ve been a subscriber for XX years…until now”
“What a shoddy piece of work that article was”

but kudos to you for asking the question.

Any other popular phrases come your way?



  1. Here’s one: “I (don’t) (never) (usually) (often) write letter to the editor, but …”

  2. Fred Zimmerman said:

    “The last time I checked [self-evident proposition],” as in “The last time I checked this was still a free country.”

  3. Anonymous said:

    For concert reviews: “I don’t know what concert [Critic X] went to, but the one I went to had [“awesome” X, “inspiring,” Y, and “truly amazing” Z]…Next time, why don’t you send a critic who actually likes music.”

  4. “I read your (insert coverage here) with interest.”
    Only improved with a modifier – mild interest, great interest, disinterest, even. No interest might be better.

  5. “Everyone I know agrees with me that….” is my favorite, but by the most popular letter to the editor phrase has to be:

    “Wake up, America!”

  6. Kevin Goldmqan said:

    Not so much in Letters to the Editor, but how about this cliche in stories about television:
    Stay tuned.

  7. Lois Lane said:

    “As a retired English teacher …”

  8. Lois Lane said:

    “I’m sick of your paper’s (right/left) wing bias, it’s why nobody reads you anymore.”

  9. Lois Lane said:

    “Dropping (TV listings/Movie listings/*Comic strip) was the worst decision you have made yet! Consider my subscription canceled!”

    * Beetle Bailey, Cathy, Garfield, Sunday’s Prince Valiant.

  10. Joyce said:

    What you should have written about instead is……

  11. My favorite is: “I bet you don’t have the guts to print this!!!”