Plugin Detects “Weak” Language in Emails – Avoid These Words

just not sorry

Words like “sorry,” “just,” “I think,” “I am not an expert” and other ubiquitous words and phrases minimizes others’ confidence in your idea and could be softening your business communications.

But a new Gmail plugin called “Just Not Sorry” identifies the words in your emails before you send them so you can remove them before you send that next communication to a colleague, partner or customer.

Cyrus Innovation, makers of the Just Not Sorry Gmail plugin, claim that it’s great for business professionals who perhaps undermine their position in business by using words that make them look weak and unsure.

The idea is to search for trigger phrases and words to help business owners to stop apologizing so much in business correspondence.

Tami Reiss, Cyrus Innovation’s CEO and co-creator of the extensions says that women in leadership positions are particularly more susceptible to softening their speech.

She added that she got the idea to create the extension while at brunch for the League of Extraordinary Women, where she realized that there was a desire for change in the way women leaders communicated and the idea to create Just Not Sorry was hatched.

“We had all inadvertently fallen prey to a cultural communication pattern that undermined our ideas. As entrepreneurial women, we run businesses and lead teams — why aren’t we writing with the confidence of their positions?” Reiss wrote on a Medium blog post.

The Google Chrome plugin, which takes only three seconds to download, works by underlining words that undermine your message.

It highlights the weak phrases and words as if you misspelled them, though there is a slight difference in color between it and standard Gmail spellcheck.

Reiss says that while in beta testing they found out that not only does the extension reduce the use of the ‘weak’ terms in email, but it also helped the testers to avoid the use of the words in all written and verbal communication.

The Just Not Sorry Gmail plugin already has more than 27,000 downloads and might be useful to any business professional unaware of how their own words might be undermining them. You could even run speeches, traditional letters and presentations through the Gmail plugin to check them for “undermining” language.


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Antony Maina Antony Maina is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. His beat includes social media, general business reporting and exploring how people relate to technology. With a background in freelance writing, he is a contributor to other tech websites and can be found at Word4Bloggers.

3 Reactions
  1. Interesting that it filters your e-mail for you. But I hope it is just suggestions so that you still have complete control on how your e-mail will turn out.

    • I know for a fact that it completely rewords your whole email and you have absolutely no control over the process.

  2. On the occasions I’ve made a mistake I like to put my hand up and admit I’m at fault. That gains more respect than side stepping it.

    So saying you’re an expert (when you’re clearly not) and under-delivering is all ok because you don’t have to say sorry?

    This is a pointless app and should be allowed to fail. If people are wording mails incorrectly they need to be trained and not allow some app to guess what they really mean.

    Lets not let the machines totally take over the world just yet…