Thursday, July 19, 2007


In government offices in India, when multiple copies of any official letter are being sent,
the following terminologies are used:

1. When a copy is being sent to someone who is of a higher designation than the sender

"copy submitted with respect(s) to"

The additional s in respect(s) comes about if someone is feeling excessively respectful to
the 'boss'. But you better have respect at-least. A respect in letter is better than no
respect(s) at all.

2. When a copy is being sent to someone who is of equal designation

"copy fwcs to"

fwcs standing for forwarded with compliments.

3. When a copy is being sent to someone who is at a lower designation than the sender

"copy with enclosure to"

For those of you who are having a slight insulting smile on your face, try looking at it
this way. Think of a very very very traditional family whom you are visiting and are about
to take leave from:

When you take leave from the elders, you generally seek their blessings.

When you take leave from your peers, you generally shake hands or embrace.

When you take leave from the kids of the house, you generally give an affectionate pinch or
a kiss.

Think of government offices as an official version of the same. The same inter-generation
struggles are seen, the same atmosphere persists wherein you don't call elders by just
their name, but a suffix which is generally sir/madam.

Stockholm syndrome at work, you say?? Well, "Say what you mean but it won't change a
", but the undeniable and unchallenged fact remains that no one has better record
keeping skills and a minutely defined set of procedures covering every eventuality as a
government agency. This is true, cutting across national borders!!

And yes, copies play a very very vital role; whether you submit it with
respect/compliments: at the end of the day, all that matters is whether it is in the file
or not and for the good of everyone, it better be :D

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