Over on the Philosophy Job Market Blog, PSG seems to delight in mocking the passive voice employed in PFO letters. The most obnoxious offenders are those that go beyond the passive, never even mentioning rejection.
Personally, I prefer to receive any kind of acknowledgement, rather than simply not being told at all (which is common for many jobs). Today I received an unusual letter from Reading:
Dear Mr Saunders.
Thank you for your application for the above post. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances the University will not be taking forward the recruitment of this position.
We are very sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment caused by this decision.
Well, I suppose as they go this isn't such a bad one - though I do usually like to console myself by thinking that each time someone else gets a job the competition is reduced slightly...