Okay, as promised, check this out:
Thank you for your interest in the Assistant Professor position in the Philosophy Program at the University of [. . . .]. Our search has been successfully completed, but we thank you for your interest in this position and we wish you the very best.
Dr. [. . . .]
That’s it. That’s the whole PFO. Notice anything missing? It never says they’re rejecting me. I mean, they’ve still got some passive voice, because god knows they can’t take responsibility in print for completing their own search, but they never say anything about rejecting me. They make you read between the fucking lines to get the point of the letter. It’s an exercise in fucking hermeneutics.
The funny thing is, this isn’t that uncommon. It’s Beyond the Passive Voice.