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Email etiquette


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Email etiquette

  1. 1. Email Etiquette Do not write in caps because this is considered yelling or shouting in cyberspace. To avoid clogging other peoples inboxes or slowing down their incoming messages, you should not send huge attachments unless absolutely necessary.Some ‘pet hates’ in regards to email etiquette would include: Receiving an email with no greeting. Writing in different fonts and sizes in one long message. Receiving an email with a large attachment that takes forever to download. Spam such as peoples trying to sell themselves or other useless products.Some tips on emailing would include:"Re:" is for Replies"Re:" means "Reply:" and should only be used in replies.Agree About the Format Before Sending an AttachmentMake sure recipients can open the attachments you send them by agreeing ontheir format beforehand.Always Check the Recipient of a Reply to a List MessageDont send personal messages to millions. Double-check where you send youremail, especially when you reply to a mailing list message.Ask Before You Send Huge AttachmentsDont clog email systems without permission.Avoid "Me Too" Messages"Me too" is not enough content, but too much annoyance.Avoid Date Misinterpretations in EmailsIll see you 020301, right? Heres how to avoid confusion about dates in emails.Avoid Embarrassing EmailsAvoid embarrassing emails by sending them to you only (by default).Be Careful with Irony in EmailsNo, really! I mean it. Honestly!
  2. 2. Be Careful with Punctuation Around URLsMake sure the links in your emails work. Punctuation around URLs can interferewith that.Be Sparing of Exclamation MarksOne exclamation mark is certainly enough!! This cannot be stressed enough.Check Other Replies Before Replying on a Mailing ListNew ideas are better ideas. If you read all replies to a particular message on amailing list before replying yourself, you can avoid repeating something thatsalready been said.Clean Up Emails Before Forwarding ThemForwarding emails is a great way of sharing ideas, but make sure the originalidea is not hidden in obfuscation.Do Away with Titles and Names in EmailsDear Ms, Mrs and Mr Reader... fortunately, emails can often do without titles andnames.Do Let People Know Their Mail Has Been ReceivedDid the spam filter eat my message? Spare others this nagging question and letthem know you got their email.Do Not Default to "Reply All""Reply" is good. "Reply to all" is better. Right?Dont Forward HoaxesEmail hoaxes often contain stories that are intriguing, and sure to irritate. Hereshow to spot and stop urban legends.Dont Reply to Spam on a Mailing ListYou dont want to be a spammer, do you? Replying to spam that appears on amailing list may make you look like one, though.Email Leaves a Permanent RecordEverything you mail will be used against you.How to Forward Emails as Attachments IntelligentlyShare emails by forwarding them in a smart and efficient manner.How to Forward Emails as Attachments Without Revealing Addresses
  3. 3. Share the full message and the full contents in a clean way, but dont discloseother recipients email addresses.How to Catch Typos by Printing Your EmailsYou can often find typos or misplaced commas neither your spelling checker noryou yourself catch when proofreading on the screen.How to Insert any International or Special Character in Mac OS XIf you need to type characters nowhere to be found on your keyboard, Mac OS Xprovides comfortable ways to find and insert them in your emails.How to Insert any International or Special Character in WindowsDo you want to include some French in your emails, spell a name or placeproperly or discuss old Chinese writings maybe? Heres how to include foreignlanguage characters in your messages using Windows.How to Prevent Annoying Thank-You NoticesEnd email conversations without unnecessary "Thank You" and "Youre welcome"notes that are more annoying than nice.How to Quote Original Messages Properly in RepliesMake your email replies easy to read and understand by quoting in a smart anduseful manner.How to Separate Multiple Recipients CorrectlyMessage for you, you, you, and you. If you send an email to multiple recipients,make sure you enter them correctly.How to Set Your System Clock RightMake sure you dont send messages from 1981.How to Use Current Antivirus Software, Keep it Up to Date and Scan for FreeMake sure youre not spreading worms and viruses via email or act as a vehiclefor spreading spam. All this can be caused by malicious emails. Fortunately,theres protection.How to Use Markdown to Send Emails That Look Good in Plain Text andFormattingHint at formatting smartly in the plain text email you write and have it renderedas rich text in supporting email programs while the message still looks good toeveryone else. Heres how to employ Markdown formatting in your emails.How to Write a Good Email Subject
  4. 4. Do you make these mistakes in your email subjects? (The key to getting yourmessages read is not to be clever.)Keep Emails ShortDo not intimidate recipients with too much text.Keep Your Email Signature to 5 Lines of Text"Signature" is a synonym for brief and unobtrusive — or at least it should be,because overly long signatures in emails are an annoyance.No Need for Street Addresses in Email SignaturesCome visit me, everybody! Unless you want everybody and the whole world toknow where you live, dont include your street address in your email signature.Properly Formatted Email Replies for the LazyDo you think quoting original text in your email replies perfectly is a lot of work?Dont let the > intimidate you! Heres a very comfortable, relaxed, quick andstill clean and compatible way to reply properly.Punctuation Matters; in Emails TooComma, colon, hyphen and semicolon — all exist for a reason: they make iteasier to understand the intended meaning of a sentence. Dont make life moredifficult and possibly less interesting for the recipients of your emails. Pay some— though not too pedantically much — attention to punctuation.Remove All Email Addresses When You Forward a MessageShare the message, not email addresses when forwarding an email.Repeat Important Subject Information in the BodyThe Subject line of your emails is important, but you shouldnt rely on it beingread or paid attention.Request Return Receipts SparinglyLet recipients reply when (ever) they want.Resize Pictures to Handy Proportions Before Inserting Them in EmailsWhen your photos look good in your email, you look good, too! Heres how tomake sure your images are not larger than screens and mailboxes by resizingthem in style — online and for free.Respect Mailing List Customs
  5. 5. What is okay here may be an affront there. Customs differ from mailing list tomailing list, and you should respect each.Send Email Etiquette Hints PrivatelyYou made a mistake, if Im not mistaken. Pointing out email etiquette mistakesin public is not very polite and a bit annoying — an email etiquette fauxpas, so to speak.Smileys Should Ring an AlarmDont use smileys to say something you should not (and dont intend to) say inemails.Take Another Look Before You Send a MessageDont send anything you dont want to send.Talk About One Subject per Email Message OnlyHelp make the world less confusing. Try to talk about one subject per messageonly. For another subject, start a new email.The Problem with Using Dialect, Slang and Jargon in EmailsWaach prablym? (The problem that you are so difficult to read.)Use "OT" in the Subject to Indicate Off-Topic MessagesIts never off-topic to state when your message is.Use Acronyms Sparingly in EmailDYK? Not everybody knows every acronym, and they dont save that much timeanyway.Use Bold Face in Plain Text Email MessagesPut a bold face onto your plain text. Heres how to make simple text stand outamong its peers by mimicking bold face in plain text emails.Use Bullet Points for Readability in EmailsBullet points make your emails *easier to read and *easier to reply to.Use Email the Way You Can Want Everybody to Use ItYou have the future, and the present of humankind in your hands — even whenyou just write an email.Use Italics in Plain Text Email Messages
  6. 6. Emphasize text the Italian way in your emails by italicizing passages and words,even when you write using plain text only.Use Lots of White Space in Your Email MessagesMessageswithhardlyanywhitespacearedifficulttodecipher.Use Only Lower Case Characters in Your Email AddressChoose wisely when creating a new email address and help avoid email addresscase confusion.Use the Standard Email Signature DelimiterSign your signature correctly by employing the standard signature delimiter inyour emails.Visibly Delete Text in EmailsDo you often (want to) say something without quite saying it? Say somethingjust to be able to take it back? Heres a handy shortcut for doing that in emails,and a way to communicate Freudian slippers, too.What Can be Misunderstood Will be MisunderstoodThe problem that whatever can be misinterpreted will indeed be misunderstoodis not unique to email, but with email it is uniquely severe.When in Doubt, End Emails with "Thanks"If you dont know how to say good-bye at the end of an email, theres one thingthat will almost always be appropriate. Thanks.When in Doubt, Send Plain Text Email, Not Fancy HTMLNot everybody can receive your fancily formatted emails. Some may even reactfurious. To be safe rather than sorry, send plain text emails only when in doubt.Where to Put Your SignatureWithout a line sub-scripted "sign here", how do you decide where to place youremail signature? Look here.Why You Should Compress Files Before Sending Them via EmailSmaller is more beautiful, at least when it comes to email attachments. So makefiles smaller before your send them via email.Wondering "How to Put That in Writing", Write "That"Tell it like it is. Have you notices how people who you understand perfectly wellwhen you listen to them become cryptic when they start writing?
  7. 7. Wrap Lines at About 65 Characters in EmailsMake your messages a joy to read by ensuring your lines are short and sweet.Writing in All Caps is Like ShoutingDont shout in your emails (and all caps are so difficult to read). a general rule though, netiquette involves the same principles as plain oldetiquette -- basic courtesy, respect and ethics.By following the principles outlined below, the recipient of your email will bemore likely to read and act, if not be favourably impressed by your message: 1. Subject line to summarise the message. Make the Subject line summarise the body of the e-mail. Ask yourself, will the recipient(s) know what this e-mail is about. For example, Instead of Subject: Exam, say Subject: Location of 1508INT Exam, 23 July 05. 2. Dont assume the recipient knows the background. Include enough contextual information at the beginning of the e-mail for the recipient to know what the matter is about. If in doubt, put background information in. For example, dont say can I have an extension for my assignment?Instead say I refer to the CIT3622 assignment 1 that I handed in late. I was ill and have a doctors certificate. May I ask for an extension on the basis that I was too ill to do it on time? 3. Keep it concise. Keep messages brief and to the point, but not so brief that it causes the problem outlined in the previous point. This includes deleting any irrelevant text when an email has been back and forth several times. No-one wants to scroll down through pages of text in order to reach the message they want to read. If the sense of the email will be lost by deleting that text, however, leave it in. 4. Reply within 24 hours. Try to reply within 24 hours, less if possible. In fact, get in the habit of replying immediately -- it is the polite thing to do, and the recipient will appreciate a prompt reply. It also makes you look efficient. The longer you leave it to reply, the more likely you will forget or have too big a log-jam of unanswered email. 5. Allow time for a reply. E-mail messages are not usually required to be answered immediately, though it is good
  8. 8. practice if you do. Before sending a reminder, allow some time for a response, sometimes even a few days. Not everyone is online 24 hours a day.6. Use the BCC field when sending bulk email. If youre sending email to a whole list of people, put their email addresses in the BCC field. That way, the privacy of the recipient is respected, and spammers cannot harvest the email addresses for their dastardly purposes.7. Dont shout at people or threaten them. Dont use all capital letters, (UPPERCASE), or oversized fonts. The reader will likely feel they are being shouted at, or even threatened. If you must use UPPERCASE, use it very sparingly and only to emphasise a particularly important point. Ask yourself, if I was talking to the recipient face to face, would I be raising my voice to them? One way to add emphasis is to enclose the word/phrase with an asterisk, for example "It is *important* not to shout at people by using UPPERCASE". Large sized fonts (greater than 12) are useful for people with visual impairment, but are not appropriate for general use.8. Avoid angry outbursts... Dont send or reply to email when you are angry. Wait until you have calmed down, and then compose the email. Once written and sent, it cant be recalled. Angry or intemperate email has a way of rebounding on the sender. As a guide, ask yourself, would I say this to the persons face?9. Correct punctuate and grammar. Use punctuation in a normal manner. One exclamation point is just as effective as five!!!!! Use correct grammar as with any written message.10.Layout message for readability. Use spaces and breaks between paragraphs and long sentences to make it easier on the reader.11.Keep the thread. When replying to an e-mail, use the reply option on the sidebar in your mail. This will keep the message in the "thread", and make it easier for the recipient to follow.12.Spelling. Check your spelling! If you dont know how to spell something, look it up.13.Dont Reply to All unless necessary. Think twice about sending a reply to everyone. Perhaps only selected people need to see this email. Sending it to everyone may simply be contributing to an already cluttered In-Tray.
  9. 9. 14.Acronyms, abbreviations, and emoticons are OK within reason. As long as you dont overdo it, and the recipients can reasonably be expected to know what they mean, acronyms and abbreviations are OK to use in e-mail. Emoticons (for example ;-) a winking smiley face) are good when used in context. As a general rule, you probably shouldnt use them when talking to someone in authority unless youre sure. 15.Forgetting attachments. If the reason for sending an email is to send a file, remember to include it. It’s easy to forget. One strategy is to attach the file before writing the email. 16.Sharing large files. Avoid sending file attachments larger than a megabyte unless it is directly necessary (like large work-related documents, spread sheets and/or presentations). Most of the time, such attachments might have curiosity value for some but which end up clogging mail servers and in-boxes much to the annoyance of systems administrators. If you want to share photos, videos etc., use Flickr or YouTube or any of the other many such services now freely available. 17.Not Suitable for Work (NSFW) warning. Some workplaces are tolerant of non-work related email, though not too many these days. Especially if the email you are sending contains adult material be sure to include the NSFW warning in the subject line. Not doing this might get someone into trouble with their boss. 18.Edit the superfluous text out of emails... When you are sending email that has been around in the sense that it has been replied to or forwarded many times, take the time to remove the angle brackets > from the message. It’s irritating for many people to see text in such disarray. The easiest way is to copy and paste the text into a word processor, and use the search and replace function to remove any unwanted characters. The example below breaks both this rule and the one about shouting at people by using UPPERCASE:>>>>>>THE FOLLOWING IS TAKEN FROM A NEPALESE GOOD LUCK MANTRA.YOULL>>>>>>>FIND IT TO BE WORTH READING AND WORTH SHARING:>>>>>>>do not keep this message. The mantra must leave your hands>> within 96>>>>>>>hours or you will suffer harm. 19.Chain Letters... It is becoming more common, as more people use email for more varied purposes for it to be used for multilevel marketing, chain letters, pyramid schemes and other dubious
  10. 10. purposes. The example above is one of the more benign examples of an implied threat as a way to motivate the recipient to take action. Another example is the chain letter that claims to be for the benefit of a dying child or promises to make you rich overnight if only you send it to five more people, and send $10 to the person who sent it to you. Most people, me included, find these email practices particularly annoying. 20.Dont be over-familiar with the recipient... Many people, me included are offended by strangers being over-familiar. For example I react badly to people I dont know addressing me as Dave. Only friends and family call me that. As a rule, use the title or form of address that you would use in verbal communication. 21.Illegal Activities. These include libel (defamatory statements), discrimination (racial, sexual, religious, ageist etc.), some adult material (child or violent erotica), illegal information (how to kill or injure people, incitement to violence, racial hatred etc.). This advice does not apply to the vast majority of email users, who would never indulge in the aforementioned practices. But for those so inclined, not only are these likely to offend the recipient, people found engaging in illegal activities involving email are likely to have strong sanctions brought against them by the university and by the civil authorities. 22.Email is not confidential. It is almost laughably easy for the contents of your email to be read by others without your knowledge. So it’s wise to avoid saying anything you wouldnt write on the back of a postcard. Also, if you work within an organisation, rather than directly connected to an ISP (internet service provider) it’s becoming more likely that every email you send and receive is scanned for certain words that are deemed unacceptable. Email with unacceptable content is quarantined, and record is kept. People can be disciplined or fired if they send or receive too much such email. The organisation has every user sign an acceptable use contract as a condition of their having an email account. That way, the employee can be deemed to have broken the contract, justifying disciplining him or her. 23.Correct priority. Avoid marking an email high priority when it is really normal priority.Acronyms & EmoticonsThese are a popular and useful way of expressing emotion in email. There is agrowing number, but these are the basic ones that people use:
  11. 11. o 2L8 -- too late o AAMOF -- as a matter of fact o AFAIK -- as far as I know o B4N -- bye for now o CMIIW -- correct me if Im wrong o CUL -- see you later o FWIW -- for what it’s worth o FYI -- for your information o IKWUM -- I know what you mean o IMHO -- in my humble opinion o KWIM -- Know what I mean? o ROTFL -- rolling on the floor laughing o TIA -- thanks in advance o TTYL -- talk to you later o :) happy o :( sad o :o very surprised o ;) wink o ;* kiss o 8) person with glasses smiling o :& tongue-tiedIf all this seems too prescriptive, feel free to ignore any or all of it. It makes noguarantees; it is simply a guide to writing email that if applied sensibly willenable you to have constructive relations with people via the medium of email.