Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Email follies to avoid

Ah, those funny, funny Brits!

It’s a story to stand your hair on end—using foul language in an email intended for only one person, but accidentally hitting “reply all” and having that foul language sent out to 4,000 people!

Funny when somebody else sends the “f”-word out to 4,000 people. Needless to say, he got fired.

So the moral of this story for English majors gearing up for the job hunt is?

First, always double check the tone of your email. If need be, hit “command + S” (save the email as a draft) and come back to it in a few minutes. There is absolutely nothing so urgent that it can’t wait a few minutes to get sent. In fact, the more urgent you think it is to hit send, the more urgent it is that you cool off and take a second look at it.

In fact, consider taking the extra step of setting your message aside, printing a copy, and proofreading the print copy for tone, attitude, spelling and the like. It’s amazing, sometimes, what you can see on cold, hard paper rather than a screen. (Shred the print copy if you don’t like what you see.)

Second, always double check the “to” box of your email window. Are you sending to only the people you want  and need to send to? Should you add any names? Delete any names? Rephrase so everybody getting a “cc” will understand why you’re sending the material? Move anybody from “cc” to “bcc”?

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