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FYI August 19, 2008

Posted by That Guy in Abbreviation, Definition.

For Your Information

“FYI” is one of those abbreviations you can use just about anywhere. It supposedly means “for your information”, but what it really means, most of the time, is “I’m covering my ass by telling you this.”

They say:
FYI, I used your computer last night because I didn’t have Photoshop.
They mean:
There’s a picture of your head on Pamela Anderson’s body that’s going to make its way around the office in the next week or so.

They say:
FYI, you need to check the instructions before you post that on our site.
They mean:
Oh, for the love of G-d, PLEASE just read the directions before you waste my time!

They say:
Just FYI, I’m going to be a few minutes late today because of a doctor’s appointment.
They mean:
I have a job interview starting in a minute, so don’t call my cell because I won’t be answering.

Saying FYI is considered polite — that is, if you preface a slightly-snarky phrase with “FYI”, you’ll probably get away with being rude to your co-workers, or even your manager. Managers, on the other hand, will use FYI to remind you of something you probably are already doing.

And FYI is great for cross-departmental memos. Usually, when a memo is blasted across dozens — if not hundreds — of e-mail lists, it’s a fair bet no one knows exactly who’s seeing it and who’s not. So as you read the e-mail — which may or may not be important — you’ll get between three and ten forwarded copies, all of them with the message body “FYI” and nothing else.

Way to clog up the e-mail system.



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