Melissa Kaplan's
Herp Care Collection
Last updated January 1, 2014

Email Etiquette Primer


Melissa Kaplan


Just because email is so easy to create and send does not mean it's okay to be thoughtless and inconsiderate when composing and forwarding emails.

  Do I really need to send this email?
  Did I use an appropriate subject line?
  Did I get to my point quickly enough without sounding rude?
  Is my wording as clear as it can be?
  Did I say too much and veer away from what's really important?
  Did I get my facts straight?
  Did I use correct capitalization, grammar and punctuation?
  Did I make a joke and is it appropriate? Might it still fall flat when it lands on someone else's screen?
  Did I TYPE ALL IN CAPS or did i type all in lower case?
  Did I put a blank line in between each paragraph, and one or two blank spaces between sentences?
  Did I check my spelling?
  Did I read what I wrote after I finished composing it?
  Do I really believe that asking people to send back to me an email I sent them proves that I love them, and if they don't send it back, it proves they don't love me?
  Did I delete all the email addresses off of improperly forwarded email I received before I forward it to others?
  Did I forward the actual email, or create yet another layer of crap my recipients will have to wade through?
  Did I respect my friends' privacy by putting their email addresses in the BCC field, not in the TO or CC fields?
  Did I delete headers, footers, and other nonessential quoted text and >s from my response?

The same email etiquette applies to posting on email lists and message boards.

Email, message boards and forums are not texting or instant messaging.

Writing--whether with pen on paper or pixels on a screen--is a lovely way to communicate thoughts, ideas, and who we are. What does your email say about you?

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