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Readers Respond: What Email Etiquette Hint Do You Wish Others Would Follow?

Responses: 193


People who use the expression…

People who use the expression "it is so fun." For instance, Martha Stewart says it all the time. Feels like nail on a blackboard to me.

Possess the proper "Possessives"!

I have noticed for the past decade or longer that people misuse and overuse their apostrophes! I majored in English, and graduated with High Honors, and I know that I learned this: An apostrophe is used to note possession 0 for instance, if a hat belongs to a man, we write "The man's hat" or "It is that man's hat". We do NOT note plurality with an apostrophe, such as "more than one hat = hat's". Typing "there are fifty girl's here is infuriating to someone who has learned proper grammar and syntax, or even proper spelling, so please, everyone, get the apostrophe's (JOKE!) in the right "Place's"!!! (Another joke! :)
—Guest nancy beegle

FW messages with pictures, songs, etc

My Pet Email Peeve is [forwarded] messages. Mostly I feel that the person is too lazy to write to me, and therefore sends me an FW instead.
—Guest Sandra Shawhan

Failure to use BCC

One of my pet peeves is about people that send out email messages to groups and do not use the BCC feature. This sends all names and email addresses to everyone on the group list. Your email address has now been spread to people that you may not know.
—Guest Suzanne Fisher

Pet Peeve: Clumsy Sentences

I think proper English is not stressed in school any more. It is not the young people's fault that they don't know how to compose a sentence. The worst offence is putting a preposition at the end of a sentence. For an example: Where are you "at". Even TV broadcasters are guilty. I guess it is the new way of communicating. Sorry I am old fashioned at 75, but it is offensive to me.
—Guest valley gal

Imagine your boss is watching

When sending an email from your office, imagine that your boss is standing behind you, watching you type. Now type that email properly. (With today's sleuthing software, you boss might actually BE watching you :-)


My pet peeve is folks forwarding my and every one else e-mail address. This drives me nuts!!!!
—Guest Yvette

"Pet Peeve?" None.

Don't have any nor did the domesticated felines I had. Several of us U.S. Military Veterans USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Entitled "shouting" by the civilians after the Vietnam War Era. I joined the U.S. Navy when I was 17. The Iowa Class Battleships had primitive computers AKA "stable elements." They were capable of elevating and lowering 16"/50 projectiles when all those guns fired at the same time. A Salvo. There was no time to use lower case letters. Do I wish others would follow whom? Unclas EFTO. Encrypted for Transmission Only. I was a cryptographer not a code breaker. Former LT/USN.

Correct usage of the "to" line

If someone wants a task performed (update a password or answer a question) is it correct to send to more than one person in the "to" line? Doesn't that mean that all of those people will have to work on the same thing? I ignore the email if my name is not first but I know that is not correct. What is?

Message in subject line

I find it very annoying when I receive an email only to find it blank when I open it because the person wrote in the subject line. I would rather have a blank subject line and the message where is should be in the message/text box.

E mail forwarding

Not to be robots and FWD every piece of junk they receive.
—Guest Francesco Rinaldi

Gardening and taking out the trash

#1 The email that's victim to “forwarding litter.” These look like gardens with carrots growing ( the > symbol ) and oddly only at the beginning of each row. Top that with the scattered lines of text with illogical breaks (very difficult to follow) and you wonder where the inebriated farmer is and consider that a tractor would be really nice about now. #2 Bulk emails where the recipients address is exposed to the thousands of people who were also a recipient. I work hard to protect my emails privacy. Exposing it unnecessarily like this negates my efforts and is inconsiderate regardless of intention. The threat of receiving infected email or a truck load of bounce back emails (undeliverables) because my email address was hijacked (spoofed) even though my account was never hacked. See http://forums.cnet.com/5208-10149_102-0.html?threadID=309967&start=45 for an explanation of this.
—Guest Debbie


Am I wrong to hate it when someone forwards a personal email of mine to someone else?
—Guest KC

Forward to 8 others

I really dislike the emails that ask you to forward to so many others to make something come true or win a prize.
—Guest BCWalker

The Indiscreet Forwarder

Ouch. I hate when people throw me under the bus by forwarding things that were not meant to be shared with others, especially the subject of original email. I once explained to my co-worker that I hadn't started on a project because a request was pending from HR (and had been delayed about three days), and it was forwarded as such without giving me the opportunity to express my discontent on my own.

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What Email Etiquette Hint Do You Wish Others Would Follow?

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