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Communication between ourselves and you?

16 replies

CaptainWentworth · 20/01/2015 15:39

Good afternoon fellow pedants,

(I should probably count myself as an aspiring pedant rather than a fully fledged one)

I'm writing a letter to a client based on a standard template, which contains the phrase 'We see a clear and open communication between ourselves and you important in:' and there then follows a list of bullet points giving the benefits of said clear and open communication.

To me, 'between ourselves and you' just sounds a bit wrong- should it be 'between us'? It's a bit odd as both parties are groups of people- specifically a firm and a board.

So what do you lot think? I was never taught grammar at school although I've picked up the basics from reading a lot and am generally considered to be quite accurate most of the time.

OP posts:
MaidOfStars · 20/01/2015 15:59

We see a clear and open communication between ourselves and you important in...

Hmm, you can use a reflexive pronoun when both the object and subject are the same entity, so we (subject)/ourselves (object) could be a perfectly usable combo.

However, in this case, "ourselves" is not the only object of the sentence, "you" (the other party) is also an object, and that makes it seem clunky to my ears.

And "ourselves" might also collectively indicate both the party communicating (we") and the party receiving communication ("you")

So I think either:
We see a clear and open communication between ourselves important in...
We see a clear and open communication between us and you important in...

I am trying to ignore the need to insert "as" between "you" and "important". And to remove the "a" before "clear".

CaptainWentworth · 20/01/2015 16:49

Thanks MaidofStars - having read your analysis, I suspect whoever wrote the template meant 'between us and you' but fell into the trap of replacing 'us' with 'ourselves' in manner of estate agent speak.

And yes I agree on your other points too- it's just all wrong!

OP posts:
ImperialBlether · 20/01/2015 16:52

It should be 'between us' - within 'us' are the other people and you!

Or, if you want to be very precise, you could say "We see a clear and open communication between Client's Company Name and Your Own Company Name."

CaptainWentworth · 20/01/2015 17:10

Imperial I did think about putting the names in but that wouldn't really match the style of the rest of the document.

No one is going to read the flaming thing anyway...

OP posts:
ImperialBlether · 20/01/2015 18:21


In that case, put "between you and I"!

wordgirl · 20/01/2015 18:25

Between you and me rather than between you and I.

ThingummyJigg · 20/01/2015 18:37

I think "between ourselves and you" is superfluous. And yy to estate agent speak - I have developed an allergy to anything ending in 'elf' or 'elves'. Which as you can imagine was a total PITA over Christmas.

Lose the 'a':

We see clear and open communication important in all this doodah we've listed below:

  1. this

2. that
3. the other
Middleagedmotheroftwo · 20/01/2015 18:40

Between me and you = between us
Between us and you = between us

ImperialBlether · 20/01/2015 20:44

Wordgirl, I was joking!

CaptainWentworth · 21/01/2015 09:38

Between us it is.

Thanks all for the advice/ discussion. I do like to think my external documents are correct, even if no one is actually interested in them! (was an audit strategy memorandum - fairly yawn worthy...)

OP posts:
OnlyLovers · 21/01/2015 09:46

I came on to scream, basically. I HATE THIS! I hate 'ourselves', 'yourselves', all of it. 'Just let myself or my colleague know'. AAAAARRRGGGGHH!

MirandaGoshawk · 05/02/2015 20:42

One of these days I am really going to lose it when someone on the phone - bank, or whatever - says 'yourself' and 'ourselves' when they me 'you and us'. Like the new gas contract between yourself and ourselves, etc. Double AAARGH!

prism · 07/02/2015 23:21

Some songs for the management-speak era:

She Loves Yourself
Cry Myself A River
Fly Myself To The Moon
Nothing Compares 2 Yourself
I've Got Yourself Under My Skin
We Will Rock Yourself

streakybacon · 08/02/2015 08:17

Don't forget the Gary Glitter classic, Myself Loves Yourself Loves Myself Love Wink.

Icimoi · 18/02/2015 12:56

I think this is illustrated very neatly in Cabin Pressure when Arthur goes into corporate speak when doing cabin announcements - along the lines of "We would like to welcome yourselves to MJN Air and hope yourselves will have a good flight with ourselves. If yourselves should require refreshment during the flight ourselves will be happy to bring it to you." It should be used as a teaching aid in all businesses.

MirandaGoshawk · 09/03/2015 15:06

Er - shouldn't that be "... bring it to yourselves?" Grin

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