There’s a nifty article posted by (Rueters) about how it seems everyone’s language and communication skills have taken a vacation when writing email. I am even finding this to be the case on the web, as well… but for some reason, a poorly-written web page seems more humorous than harmful to me than the characteristicly inconsiderate and careless verbage too often found in my inbox. Perhaps it’s because I am forced to read the email; and a badly-written web site will simply illicit a mental note not to return for a second dose.
Regardless, this article has prompted the following list of my EMAIL PET PEEVES, which I feel compelled to share with the world…
- People who type in ALL CAPS ARE YELLING, AND DON’T SEEM TO REALIZE HOW ANNOYING IT IS. WE EVEN HAD AN EMPLOYEE CONTINUE TO DO SO FOR ALMOST A YEAR AFTER BEING INFORMED OF THIS MESSAGING NO-NO; I GOT THE FEELING THAT SHE FELT THAT IT WASN’T OUR PLACE TO TELL HER HOW TO DO HER JOB (in this case, it was; and her donkey eventually got kicked out on the street).
- Spelling, grammar, and clarity are NOT less important in email than in other forms of communication; yet many of the notes I receive look like they were pecked out by drunken pigeons. If your email program doesn’t have spell-check capabilities, switch to one that does.
- Perhaps there is a familiar tone that most users assume in email that is fine between one or two coworkers, but not necessarily appropriate when forwarded half a dozen times around the office. Assume that whatever you write will eventually be read and/or quoted (or mis-quoted) to several others you didn’t intend to publish your views to, and pull in the reins accordingly.
- There is no chain letter, even if it doesn’t specifically ask for money, that does not cost somebody something (time wasted, server bandwidth, etc.). Hence, all chain letters are illegal. If you are unsure whether to agree, simply re-read the previous two sentences until you do.
- Bill Gates, Walt Disney Jr., and Jessica Mydek are all figments of your imagination, and are not going to send you money, tickets, or be cured of cancer no matter how many friends you forward that email hoax to.
- ‘If you can’t communicate clearly, you aren’t communicating at all.’ If you don’t spend an extra few seconds reviewing an email before it hits the wire, it may take the recipient that much longer to understand what you are trying to say. Think of how rude it would be to try to hold a conversation over lunch with a coworker while holding your tongue with one hand – ridiculous, right?