Tag Archives: emails

Writing Rules Worth Following

Whether you tweet or send emails or do any other kind of writing, DO NOT WRITE IN ALL CAPS, do not capitalize Random Words because you think that Adds more Emphasis, and DO NOT use excessive punctuation!!!!!!!!!

Not that I’m thinking of anyone in particular.

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More Typos From Abroad

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Or since I’m writing this, perhaps the subject line should be More Typos From a Broad. Either way, here is some midweek entertainment—along with a reminder to proofread everything you write.

Please leave your values at the front desk. (Sign in a Paris elevator)

Before entering this mosque: Please remove your shoes. Please remove your socks. Please remove your hat. Thank you for your co-ordination. (Sign in Istanbul mosque)

Guests are requested to be as quiet a possible in their rooms after 11 pm so as not to disturb the quest in the other room. (Swedish hotel)

When You Are Engulfed in Flames (Name of a hilarious David Sedaris book, title based on a sign he saw in an elevator, educating guests what to do in case of fire)

Come Fartably Numb (Song title on pirated Pink Floyd CD, Hong Kong)

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Another Email Suggestion

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Recently, I gave you some tips about writing emails and asked for your suggestions as well. Here is a valid one from Mark W. Consider this when you are addressing others:

Since email is so quick and easy vs. a well-written letter on Crane stationary w/ a Mont Blanc fountain pen, people tend to be very casual and, more often then not, never address the person they are writing to using Mr., Mrs. Ms., Dr. and so forth. I often see Dear John, Hey Jane, Hi You, Hey Becky. Fortunately, it is less common when you do not know the person you may be writing to, for instance on a job application.

In other words, I think when it is appropriate, email correspondence can be enhanced with some formality. Ultimately, demonstrating respect still has merit in a world of instant messaging. Social media doesn’t need to be absent of essential decorum. 

It’s also a good idea to sign your name after your message and include your contact information.

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Common Sense Rules for Emails

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You have received enough emails in your time to make you aware of certain behaviors that annoy or even anger you. Here are a few reminders to keep your recipients happy:

1. DON’T WRITE IT ALL CAPS. They are hard to read and your readers will think you are shouting.

2. all lower case isn’t any better. it looks immature and is likewise annoying to read. I hope you enjoy e.e. cummings’  poetry, but please don’t emulate his style; it belongs to him.

3. Don’t leave the subject line blank. If you need to write only a few words, you can put the entire message in the subject line and, in parentheses afterward, add (end) or (EOM). For example, Meeting tomorrow at 10:00 (end).

4. If you’re sending the same email to several people, you’ll probably want to use Bcc: in the address line for each person. Otherwise, you are revealing everyone’s email address to everyone else on the list, and it might not be your place to do that. Use your discretion.

5. If you receive information from another person, do not copy all or part of that when you write to others—unless you have received permission from the original writer to do so.

6. Don’t use a background color or colored fonts in your emails. They make it harder to read, and if you are responding, those colors may go into your email. It’s annoying all around.

7. If you write an angry email, do not send it. At least don’t send it immediately. Sleep on it. You may decide not to send it at all, or you may want to tone it down. Don’t demean yourself.

If you have other suggestions, I’d love to see them. We can all learn from each other. Thanks!

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How to Close an Email

People sometimes ask me about closing a business email: how do you sign off?

The main consideration is the relationship you have with the person to whom you are writing. If you are on a first-name basis, then think about what you’d say in person. You might be very casual. Some of these might fit your style:

Cheers

Ciao

Later

Have a good one

If you are writing to someone you don’t know well or who is in a position above yours, you should tend toward more traditional closings:

Best regards

Cordially

Best wishes

Sincerely—I favor this one because no matter what you have written, I hope you have been sincere.

Yours truly—This one annoys me because how many people we write to are truly ours?

In addition to commonly used closings, you can also close using thoughts that are pertinent to what you have just written:

Good job

Keep up the good work

Thank you

Thanks for your time

I look forward to hearing from you

Continued success

When you use a two (or more)-word closing, only the first word is capitalized. If you are writing to a group and you know some people more casually and others less so (some of the people you may never have met), address your closing to the latter group. Avoid slang.

In all instances, your closing needs to fit the tone of the content. If you have been critical, stern, annoyed, or even angry, then you certainly don’t want to close with “Warmly” (even though you may be hot under the collar).

 

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