Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Weary Wednesdays: Poor Email Etiquette

Does anyone else get the mid-week blues? I always get a burst of energy when I start a new week, but by mid-day Wednesday, it fades, and I pretty much count the minutes until 8pm, when my husband and I get together with friends for trivia, queso and margaritas.

Since I included "weary" in my blog title, and since Wednesdays in general make me weary, I've decided I'll devote each Wednesday to something that makes me weary. This week's topic: poor email etiquette.

Don't get me wrong--I think email is one of the greatest inventions of modern society (along with air conditioning and my Garmin running watch). I rarely pick up my phone, and when I do--surprise!--it's to check my email. It's fast, it's convenient, and as a rule, I find writing much easier than speaking, especially if I'm communicating something of professional importance. And yet, far too many people who would otherwise posses good sense and good grace seem to lose those sensibilities once an electronic format is involved.

Yesterday, I received an email from a woman I'll call Joan Doe, and I couldn't decide what was more offensive--the condescending tone, the odd choice of fuchsia Comic Sans for business correspondence, the blatant grammatical errors, the run-on sentences or the 16 point font. And yes, even this weary publicists makes mistakes from time to time, but I encounter emails of this type each and every day--and from people who should know better. And it makes me weary.

Even if you don't walk around with a dog-eared copy of Strunk & White (guilty as charged), common sense should prevail. Use black or blue font, reasonably sized. Take advantage of the spell check. Read your message aloud. If you are worried that your words might cause offense, walk away for a few hours or send them to an impartial friend for review ('ll admit to using both of these strategies when composing my response to Ms. Doe). Think about how you would feel if your message were accidentally forwarded to your grandmother, your boss or your best friend. And if all else fails, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.


  1. I could not agree more and I *hear* my Strunk & White! :-)

  2. haha....I meant *heart* my Strunk & White

  3. I could not agree more!! And I *heart* my Strunk & White! :-)


  4. It just gets me all heeby jeeby b-jonkers when peeple ain't got no better cents when they's writin'. What do they think the dickshionary is for...propin up yer coffee table?

  5. Oh, you're a woman after my own heart LOL! I found your blog through The Curvy Life site and I'm so glad I did! I've read several of your posts and I think you're a great writer--and what interesting things you have to say. Love your blog! :) Have a great day.

  6. Thanks, Angela! I'm glad you're enjoying the blog!


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