No to my face is a no.
No in a letter or an email is a no that cannot be taken back. Once a no is in writing, it’s forever a no.
But there is also the silent no. A yes postponed so long you just assume it’s a no. I get these more than any other. And I’m naive, and innocently hopeful. Sometimes I think a no is really a yes and that it’ll all turn around once it’s spoken aloud.
Then I get the letter, or the phone call—the no-calls are the worst—and I’m back at square 1.