E-mail Etiquette

Like keeping your elbows off the dinner table, watching your e-mail Ps and Qs is essential. Here's an excerpt from Ms. Manners E-mail Society Column to illustrate some e-mail don'ts.

Daaarlings, it's that time of year again. Yes, yes. I've compiled my list of worst-mannered members for your reading pleasure. If you don't see your name on this list, go ahead and count your blessings that you've been the epitome of e-mail grace. If you do see your name here, don't be offended. Just get your act together and avoid next year's list.

Ta ta for now,
Ms. Manners

Mr. CAPs Lock
Being heard is very important to Mr. Lock. Maybe that's why he shouts at everyone by typing in all CAPITAL letters. This rather annoying habit has not endeared him to e-mail society. Perhaps someone should tell Mr. CAPs Lock that a more appropriate way to emphasize one's words is using asterisks like *this*.

Miss Spelled
Don't let first impressions fool you. Miss Spelled is actually quite a bright gal. You just have to look beyond the missing vowels and misplaced consonants to find her. Unfortunately, this may take some time and patience since what she says is often confusing. Did she care for fair weather? Or dare to wear leather? With Miss Spelled, one can never be sure.

Ms. R. U. Thar
Despite her charming disposition and wit, Ms. R. U. Thar is not very popular among the e-mail elite. It started when Ms. Thar ignored Didi De Lite's e-mail invitation to "the party" of the year--a serious faux pas. Then, she didn't attend Prince Charming's poetry reading. Ms. Thar claims she didn't snub Didi and the Prince on purpose--she just didn't check her e-mail in time. Tsk, tsk, we all know that checking e-mail regularly is a must.

Mr. Verbose
No doubt, Mr. Verbose is one of the most eloquent gents you'll ever meet. But as well-versed as he is, Mr. Verbose has a tendency to wander off topic in his e-mails. For instance, is it really necessary to give everyone a play-by-play of his triple root canal, or the removal of his ingrown toenail? Ahem...a short and simple "I won't be available" would have sufficed.

Miss Mimi Broadcast
Someone take the Reply To All button away from Miss Broadcast. That woman doesn't know how to use the function sparingly. Take for instance the incident with last month's E-mail Society newsletter. Mimi disagreed with the editor's choice of stories. However, instead of using the Reply to Sender button to send a message to the editor, she used the Reply To All key and spammed all 50 people on the mailing list. How uncouth!

Mrs. No-Title
Wait. What is the venerable Mrs. No-Title doing on this list of e-mail rogues? Doesn't she check her e-mail regularly and write succinct messages? Yes, she is the perfect e-mail citizen--except for her habit of not including a message subject. When she does remember to type a title, she will use an eternally vague, "Hello" regardless of how urgent the message is to the recipient. Hello, Mrs. No-Title. Please be specific with your subject titles.