I have a problem with ‘hi’. I can tolerate it as a spoken salutation, but written down in emails and texts, I find it hard to cope with. And it’s becoming a bit of an issue for me because it seems to be the standard greeting for business emails now. I reckon that’s because it’s deemed the casual and friendly option. There’s no place for ‘dear’ any more, unless you’re writing about a particularly sober matter. But there is something sad about team members writing ‘hi’ to each other all day, instead of saying it out loud.
‘Hi’ in work emails seeks to borrow a casual chirpiness from social life. But it’s unconvincing and forced. It’s the communications equivalent of dress-down Friday. And because it’s being used in business now, when I get ‘hi’ from my friends, I find it alarmingly formal. If a friend texts me with ‘Hi Maddie’, it reminds me of my work life, so I feel as if a guard has been put up, or that I might be about to be told off for something. As an MC, I generally feel I’m in trouble most of the time, so I could certainly do without the extra impetus.