3/20/2014

Everyday Writing - Perfect Emails

If you're like me, most correspondence is done through email. Whether it's a note to my family, friends, or business correspondence, it's usually an email. I think our writing etiquette and skills have gone by the wayside because of the instant nature of email. We tend to be extremely casual, not particular about spelling, and we can easily say things in an email we'd never dare say in person. Your employer probably has specific rules about corporate email, but many carry over to personal email. Here are a few tips on getting it right in the electronic letter.

1. Take the time to spell out words and use proper grammar. This is not a text message. If it's worth writing, it's worth doing right. My personal opinion is that we've become lazy writers. We abbreviate everything. There are other problems too. Many don't know the difference between they're, their, and there or your and you're. Those distinctions are important. Carelessness now could come back to bite you on a job or college application later.

2.  DON'T USE ALL CAPS AND LOTS OF !!!!!!  Capital letters equal shouting and the liberal use of exclamation points lose their drama after two or three times.

3.Sharing confidential information such as a social security number is a no-no as are other identifiers such as account numbers and passwords. Email is not a secure way to communicate.

4. Be polite and don't write an email while you're angry. Snarky comments or personal attacks are not kosher. Emails with this type of content are cowardly. If you have a problem with someone, a face-to-face is in order or at least a phone call to discuss the issue calmly, logically, and politely. Too often we avoid a courageous confrontation to resolve differences. Once that nasty-gram is sent, it's written in virtual stone and is nearly impossible to retrieve.

5. Don't be a spammer. Refrain from forwarding every "interesting" email that comes your way. Most people have lots of emails to deal with on a daily basis without trying to determine if email from you merits opening. Sending several a day to your contact list will get you labelled as a nuisance.

6. Do write clearly and concisely. Keep it short and include a signature at the end.

Email is wonderful and free! It helps keep us connected with distant family and friends without going to the post office. That in itself should make your day.

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Positively encouraging

3/20/2014

Everyday Writing - Perfect Emails

If you're like me, most correspondence is done through email. Whether it's a note to my family, friends, or business correspondence, it's usually an email. I think our writing etiquette and skills have gone by the wayside because of the instant nature of email. We tend to be extremely casual, not particular about spelling, and we can easily say things in an email we'd never dare say in person. Your employer probably has specific rules about corporate email, but many carry over to personal email. Here are a few tips on getting it right in the electronic letter.

1. Take the time to spell out words and use proper grammar. This is not a text message. If it's worth writing, it's worth doing right. My personal opinion is that we've become lazy writers. We abbreviate everything. There are other problems too. Many don't know the difference between they're, their, and there or your and you're. Those distinctions are important. Carelessness now could come back to bite you on a job or college application later.

2.  DON'T USE ALL CAPS AND LOTS OF !!!!!!  Capital letters equal shouting and the liberal use of exclamation points lose their drama after two or three times.

3.Sharing confidential information such as a social security number is a no-no as are other identifiers such as account numbers and passwords. Email is not a secure way to communicate.

4. Be polite and don't write an email while you're angry. Snarky comments or personal attacks are not kosher. Emails with this type of content are cowardly. If you have a problem with someone, a face-to-face is in order or at least a phone call to discuss the issue calmly, logically, and politely. Too often we avoid a courageous confrontation to resolve differences. Once that nasty-gram is sent, it's written in virtual stone and is nearly impossible to retrieve.

5. Don't be a spammer. Refrain from forwarding every "interesting" email that comes your way. Most people have lots of emails to deal with on a daily basis without trying to determine if email from you merits opening. Sending several a day to your contact list will get you labelled as a nuisance.

6. Do write clearly and concisely. Keep it short and include a signature at the end.

Email is wonderful and free! It helps keep us connected with distant family and friends without going to the post office. That in itself should make your day.

No comments: