I can’t believe we are still advising people about email etiquette years after the technology has become all but ubiquitous. But last month I received an email from the manager of an organization that violated every email rule. So a little refresher.
Watch your tone: The printed word carries none of the subtleties and inflections of the spoken word. When in doubt, pick up the phone.
Emails can be forwarded: And if they are particularly appalling or annoying, they will be! If you don’t want it printed on a billboard in Times Square, don’t send it. (This hold true for blogs, Facebook, and Twitter too.)
Be judicious with underlining: Lots of underlining looks a bit amateurish. To underline and bold a word is just plain overkill, and indicates an inadequate vocabulary. (In my example, the correspondent underlined and highlighted five words in the space of a very short paragraph.)
Don’t write mad (or drunk): Ask Mark Zuckerberg about this one.
Spell check: This one I have to watch. Spell check just doesn’t catch everything. If I have time, I save my email in draft and review it a few hours later. Usually the errors leap out at me the second time around.