"Dear colleagues," was the salutation on a rejection email I received for my abstract submission to a conference. Evidently, it would have been a waste of time to customize each rejection with a Dear Tom, Dear Jane, Dear Dick, Dear Sally, Dear Harry, salutation. This would have only compounded the time wasted by Harry, Sally, Jane, and Dick thinking about and writing their 500-word submissions, assuming that the latter had not been generated by Chat GPT.
Fortunately, I had prepared myself for the disappointment by reminding myself of the hubris involved in imagining anything I might say would contribute substantively to "emancipation," whatever that might mean. Two centuries ago, a literary critic and journal publisher could fancy himself competent to compose a treatise with a pretentious title like "The source and remedy of all our sorrows." We know better now. There is no remedy for the pain we collectively inflict on ourselves for no particular reason other than it is what we have been doing for two hundred years.
There being no solution, what would be the point of writing out all those rejection email names when the generic term "colleagues" can do the job in much less time?
Tom Walker (Sandwichman)