I have been very reluctant to use "I am writing to" in my letters. It sounds too odd to me. I know it is common usage and reflects the fact that "writing" is taking place. But compare performatives like "I promise" and "I swear," where the present tense is used. Nobody ever says "I am promising ..." Does anyone use "I write to ..."? Is it considered acceptable by many?
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wh wrote on 03 Jun 2004:
I have been very reluctant to use "I am writing to" in my letters. It sounds too odd to me. ... Nobody ever says "I am promising ..." Does anyone use "I write to ..."? Is it considered acceptable by many?

There may be circumstances in which "I am writing to" is appropriate, but I can't think of any right now. Perhaps if the writer has just taken a cast off a broken hand and says "I am writing to test my control over my writing hand" as an explanation for why the letter isn't printed or typed, or why the writer hasn't called or shown up in person, as in, "I'm writing because I'm reluctant to see you in person after what you said to John about me"?
But in a business letter, it's obvious that the writer has written, so there is no need to waste the reader's time by spelling out the obvious. The letter has a purpose, so get to it immediately, eg, "I am applying for the sales job advertised in this morning's New York Times" or "The 90-day validation program for the OED2v3 CD-ROM I bought from you ninety-one days ago refused six times to accept the Data disk that came with the program. I had to delete and reinstall the OED program in order to convince the validation program that my Data disk is the valid original(1)".
NOTE: (1) This is true, by the way. Has anyone else out there had this problem? Maybe the program requires that I put the Data disk into the same CD drive I used to install it, but I have 4, so that's a pain.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
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But in a business letter, it's obvious that the writer has written, so there is no need to waste the ... so get to it immediately, eg, "I am applying for the sales job advertised in this morning's New York Times"

I tend towards the form: "I would like to apply for...", which, now I come to think of it, does rather beg the response "Well, go on, then". Perhaps "I would like to be considered for..." is better.
Mike M
Mike Mooney wrote on 04 Jun 2004:
But in a business letter, it's obvious that the writer ... the sales job advertised in this morning's New York Times"

I tend towards the form: "I would like to apply for...", which, now I come to think of it, does rather beg the response "Well, go on, then". Perhaps "I would like to be considered for..." is better.

Yes, "I would like to be considered for . . ." is much better than "I would like to apply for . . .", IMHO.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
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"wh" (Email Removed) schrieb im Newsbeitrag
I have been very reluctant to use "I am writing to" in my letters. Itsounds too odd to me. I ... used. Nobody ever says "I am promising ..." Does anyone use "I write to ..."? Is it considered acceptable bymany?

Hi all,
I'm not a native speaker (I know obvious and I'm still learning) and I was taught to always use the phrase 'I am writing to ...', if necessary, in a formal letter, at least in the Cambridge exams e.g.

Dear Mr. Bush,
I am writing to express my concerns about the way you lead your country ...

If it has become outdated to use that phrase, I would like to know and if possible proofed by a reliable source.
alex
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I have been very reluctant to use "I am writing to" in my letters. Itsounds too odd to me. I ... used. Nobody ever says "I am promising ..." Does anyone use "I write to ..."? Is it considered acceptable bymany?

"I write to" is fine, if a little dry and old-fashioned. I think the fact that one is writing goes without saying though, so I try to leave out such verbiage.
Adrian
Mike Mooney wrote on 04 Jun 2004:

Yes, "I would like to be considered for . . ." is much better than "I would like to apply for . . .", IMHO.

I prefer the straightforward "I apply for.."
Adrian
I'm not a native speaker (I know obvious and I'm still learning) and I was taught to always use the ... has become outdated to use that phrase, I would like to know and if possible proofed by a reliable source.

Don't worry, it's fine.
Adrian
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