This is from my files, something that it seems I meant to post in my MySpace blog back in 2008. I have no idea why I didn’t…
Anyway, I hope all the links are still current…
COMMON E-MAIL MISTAKES
Billions of e-mail messages travel throughout the Internet every day. Here are six easily avoidable e-mail mistakes.
1. Writing too much
The whole purpose of e-mail is brevity. If you want to write a letter, then write a letter. A long e-mail just encourages the recipient to skim it or worse, not read it at all. If what you have to say is really that complicated, you should probably pick up the telephone.
2. Using sarcasm
Try to look at your e-mail from the recipient’s point of view. What may be acceptable in a face-to-face conversation does not always translate well in written form. The recipient can’t see your body language.
That’s why some people use emoticons. They are the Internet equivalent of body language. For instance, use a smiley face with a colon, hyphen and close-parentheses mark :-). Or, there’s the sad face with the open parenthesis mark :-(.
Avoid using emoticons in business e-mail. But if you must, don’t
overuse them. They interrupt the flow of words. One or two should do the trick. There is a list of emoticons on my site: http://www.komando. com/emoticons
3. Expressing anger
Most people use care when selecting words when they speak with another. E-mail makes it easier to forget yourself. If you’re really angry, a 24-hour wait might be in order. Remember: Once you send it, you can’t get it back. And there’s no body language to lighten the impact of your words. If they sound harsh, they will be taken that way.
Capital letters just drive your anger home. Using all capital letters is considered yelling in the e-mail world. Save it for good news. They may still irritate your recipients, but they shouldn’t alienate them.
4. Forwarding junk
Don’t forward virus warnings and urban legends. They are invariably hoaxes. These things are usually characterized by a vague reference to a news report months ago. And they always admonish you to forward the warning to everyone you know.
The anti-virus companies watch closely for new viruses. They
immediately build antidotes into their software updates. Assuming the warning is not a hoax (it almost certainly is), an antidote would have been developed ages ago.
Same goes for urban legends. Bill Gates giving away money. Poodles in microwaves. Needles in movie theater seats. Busy people will not appreciate getting this stuff from you.
You can always check virus warnings and urban legends on the Internet. Hoaxbusters is a good place to start: http://hoaxbusters. ciac.org/
5. Moving too quickly
Careless grammar and misspellings will undermine the most important message. Sure, you’re in a hurry. But if your recipient has to e-mail you for a clarification, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time.
Take the time to be sure that any attachments are actually attached. And be sure you’re sending the e-mail to the correct person. If you’re writing to someone about a third party, don’t send the e-mail to the third party. That’s easy to do, and can be very embarrassing.
6. Falsifying the return address
If you’re sending something unpleasant, don’t bother using a false return address. The e-mail can be traced back to your Internet service provider or even, your own computer. It’s all in the e-mail header.
All major e-mail programs can display header information. Here’s how to see the headers of an e-mail:
In America Online, click the Details button.
In Microsoft Outlook, click View and Options.
In Microsoft Outlook Express, click File, Properties and the
In Eudora, click the Blah Blah button.
In Netscape, click View and Message Source.
The sender’s revealing information begin with “Received:.”
The originating computer is in the bottom “Received:.”
That section will have an Internet Protocol (IP) number, such as
220.127.116.11. While the IP number is probably assigned to the sender’s Internet service provider, the ISP will be able to identify the sender using that number.
Remember the header if you’re tempted to send an anonymous e-mail. You are less anonymous than you think.
Kim Komando Show Home Page: http://www.komando. com
Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.
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