Email Etiquette During the 21st Century
Email makes it easy for people to communicate. In fact, there has never been a time when it has been so simple to send written words to another. But along with the ease of email has come a watering down of some of the etiquette associated with letters. Next time you get ready to send off an email, take a moment to remember these simple tips.
Don’t Use All Capitals
Although it may seem easy to set your Caps Lock key on and forget it, this makes it very difficult for your recipient to read your message. Our brains are wired to detect the differences in large and small letters when we read. All capitals slow us down. And in the world of email, using all capitals is akin to shouting out your message—not exactly how you want to make most people feel.
Be Careful of Abbreviations
Since the inception of email, all sorts of abbreviations have been coined—like LOL for Laughing Out Loud, among many others. But if you are writing to a business associate or client, or are not on a familiar level with your email recipient, it is always best to avoid abbreviations like this, in order to keep your communication clear.
Since email is associated with speedy communication, it is tempting to be as short and to the point as possible. But in email, this can come across as curt and rude. Especially when composing business correspondence, be sure to retain the proper form of a business letter, including a salutation, clear introduction of the subject matter, and a proper signing off, using a word like “Sincerely.” Even your casual acquaintances will appreciate a more proper form.
Email is easily sent, and then resent, to any number of recipients. Keep this in mind when you compose your missive. Don’t say anything in an email that you would not allow to be shared with others—chances are it might be! If you have something to say that is private or confidential, consider the tried and true methods of phoning or writing a hard copy. While even this can be copied and shared, it is more difficult to widely disseminate your text.
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