E-mail: Don’t be a novelist

What’s the meaning of all those hieroglyphics you see in e-mails such as ;) :-> :-o or ‘IMHO’ or ‘ROTFL’? If you’ve always wondered, but were afraid to ask, for fear of being ‘flamed’ (nastily criticised), you can check out a couple of helpful e-mail etiquette sites.

Iwillfollow.com offers guidance for this most used-and by consequence, most abused-feature of the Internet.

It’s common to apply the rules of letter writing to e-mail correspondence. But there are some crucial differences. E-mail, like letter writing, has an etiquette, certain rules and conventions. For example:

  • Using upper case letters: THIS IS SHOUTING IN E-MAIL LAND.

Be concise
The starting point for effective communication is to make your messages concise and to the point. For personal e-mail, that may not apply. But it certainly does in business, where people might receive a hundred messages in a day. They don’t want e-mail versions of Tolstoy.

This guide discusses salutations, signatures, ‘threads’ or answering with the original message incled in the reply, and ‘flaming’ the insults hurled when someone makes an e-mail faux pas. It looks at all the do’s and don’ts.

Best services
The other aspect of email is finding services. Emailaddresses.com is a good site for finding all kinds of free e-mail services. There are tips for finding the best free services, using e-mail on the road, and beating spam (junk e-mail).

There are links to directories for e-mail addresses in all parts of the world, including Canada.

The FAQ section answers frequently asked questions about e-mail from the basic ‘what is it’ to the skeptical ‘what’s the downside to using a free service?’ (you’re exposed to a barrage of ads).

 As for those hieroglyphic-like markings, the advice is don’t overuse them. But  ;) (wink) :-> (devilish grin) :-o (yell), IMHO (in my humble opinion) you’ll be ROTFL (rolling on the floor laughing).