There are many expressions in the English language that we take for granted and don’t give a second thought to.
For example, when was the last time you gave “someone a taste of their own medicine”?
Or, has it ever happened to you that something bad turned out to be a “blessing in disguise”?
You also have “bite the bullet,” “on a side note,” and “make a long story short.”
Today’s expression is a famous one that you have probably used in either your personal or your professional life.
Today, we will look at “keeping someone posted.”
What is the meaning of “I will keep you posted”?
The phrase ‘I’ll keep you posted’ is a common English idiom indicating the speaker’s promise to regularly update or inform you about a situation. It’s often used in professional or personal contexts requiring ongoing communication or updates.
Where does the expression come from?
To understand this expression, we need to start with its most integral part, the word “posted.”
“Post” has a couple of definitions, but in this context, it means to announce or publish.
For instance, if you say, “the information was posted on the door,” this means that the information was announced through a display of sorts attached to the door.
The word comes from the Latin “postis,” which means doorpost. Also, in Old French, “post” means pillar or beam.
Before we had the internet, public announcements were made by attaching pieces of paper to these posts, and odds are this is where the verb “post” gets its meaning.
Additionally, “post” has been used within the financial circles, especially among accountants.
For example, when a company announces its profits and losses for the quarter, you might read “company posts $ 2 million loss.”
Ergo, when you bear all of this in mind, it should come as no surprise to learn that “I’ll keep you posted” is just another way of saying “I’ll keep you notified.”
How to use “keep you posted”
The beauty of this expression is how versatile it can be. You can use it in both your personal and professional lives.
Using it in the personal sphere
Anytime you want to tell a personal acquaintance that you will keep them updated, you can this expression.
If you are talking with a close friend, and they ask whether you got that new job or not, you can use it.
You: No, nothing yet. I interviewed with them last week, and I haven’t heard from them ever since.
Friend: Well, let me know if anything changes.
You: Sure thing. I’ll keep you posted.
Using it in the professional sphere
You can also use this expression in the workplace (see an example of how it is used here on this website under “Pop-Up Gallery”).
However, you want to be careful here because the expression can come across as a bit informal. So, you can use it with your colleagues and work friends.
You can also use it with your superiors, business partners, and customers so long as the situation doesn’t require too much formality.
Here are a few examples to get a clearer idea.
If you have a good relationship with your boss, this could be a conversation the two of you have.
You: No, not yet. We sent them the proposal, and they are still assessing it.
Boss: Alright. Let me know if anything changes.
You: I will keep you posted.
Another example can illustrate how you would use the expression with a customer.
You: Not yet. We are still working on it, patching a few things.
Customer: Well, please let me know if anything new develops.
You: Absolutely, I will keep you posted. Would you be ok receiving emails from us?
However, one example where “keep you posted” would be unsuitable is if you were talking to the mayor of your city and you don’t know them that well.
You: Yes, sir. We’ve been working on it for the past two years.
Mayor: And, when do you expect to finish?
You: By December 2022.
Mayor: Perfect. I would like regular progress reports.
You: Of course, sir. I’ll be sure to send them to your office.
As you can see, the two interlocutors in the above conversation don’t know each other, and you’re showing a sense of deference towards the mayor.
Yet, why doesn’t “keep you posted” work in this last scenario?
You see, the expression implies that you sort have constant access to the other person, that you can provide them with new information anytime you like.
This is why it wouldn’t work in very formal situations where you won’t have this type of access or contact.
Don’t get me wrong. You still could use the expression, but it might not be the most ideal thing to say. It might seem a bit out of place.
Using “keep you posted” in your correspondence
Everything we just said about this expression applies equally when it comes to the written word.
However, when you write a message, you will find that you tend to be more formal than when you are talking to a person face-to-face.
So, what might have seemed appropriate in a personal conversation might not work in a written email or document.
Alternatively, there might be some other expressions conveying the same meaning that would be too stuffy for a conversation but are perfect for a formal email.
The following could be an excerpt from an email you send your work colleague.
The project specifications keep changing. Over the past 24 hours alone, they have changed more than three times.
So, I will keep you posted anytime there is a change to ensure that you are working from the latest specifications.”
When sending an email to your boss, unless you know them really well, you might not want to use “keep you posted.”
For instance, if you are sending an email to the CEO, responding to a request about the latest updates concerning your project, “keep you posted” might be unsuitable.
Everything said so far is based on the assumption that everything goes according to plan. Ergo, we plan to monitor the situation carefully, and should anything change, we will notify your office immediately.”
Good alternatives to say “keep you posted”
Seeing as the expression doesn’t work in very formal situations, let’s focus on those.
When writing professionally, there are a few things you want to do.
You want to make the writing as impersonal as possible, which is why formal writing tends to distance the writer from his material.
This is achieved through using the passive voice, exchanging the singular personal pronoun “I” with the plural personal pronoun “we,” and removing any emotional or figurative undertones in the writing.
Simply put, formal writing has to come across as “objective.”
Here are a few examples:
Another thing formal writing does is to swap out people for institutions.
And, if the recipient works for a company such as Macy’s, you could say the following.
The last couple of ones are so stuffy and distant that they may seem a tad antagonistic. You shouldn’t use them unless you know what you’re doing.
Finally, one more thing formal writing does is swap out easy words for more obscure and verbose ones.
You can feel how the latter sentence is way more formal than the already stuffy first sentence.
With all this laid out, let’s look at a few other alternatives for “keep you posted” and see why they work.
”You’ll hear from us”
This expression uses the passive voice, making it come across as formal.
You would usually use this sort of expression when communicating with someone looking to hear from you, like a job candidate.
We are reviewing your application at the moment.
”We will keep you apprised”
This expression comes across as formal because it uses “we” instead of “I” and uses the word “apprised,” a more verbose version of the word “informed.”
”We will keep you abreast of developments”
Again, by using the plural “we” and the very wordy “abreast,” this expression would not be suitable for a conversation among friends. In fact, it might be so stuffy that I wouldn’t recommend it even to your boss.
Other ways of saying “keep you posted”
We have seen different ways of saying “keep you posted” that would be suitable in formal situations.
But, are there other informal ways of conveying this idea of keeping someone up-to-date?
Yes, here are a few.
”Keep you in the loop”
This one is quite informal seeing as there is a visual and figurative component to it. Ergo, you can only use it with your friends or colleagues at work. But, it would sound very weird if you were to tell your boss that you will “keep them in the loop.”
”Make sure you are caught up”
Again, another informal option, this one is suitable for friends and acquaintances. After all, what’s the first thing old friends do when they meet after having not seen each other for a while?
They “catch up.”
”Getting you up to speed”
Here is one more visual expression. It paints a picture of everyone going down a road at the same speed, keeping up with one another. However, if someone can’t get up to speed, they get left behind.
How’s that for an image for you?
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.