Monday, July 13, 2009


"Netiquette" is etiquette for the internet; usually applied to email. Today we're doing email.

Lesson 1: Write appropriately, and punctuate appropriately, especially if this is business communication.

Translation: when communicating at work, you're at work, not in junior high, and your message should read as such.

Good ideas, so you don't piss off your reader or your boss:

  • Avoid using emoticons (the "smiley" or "frowny" faces). It's just not professional.

  • Punctuation????? Less is more!!! Even if you ARE really excited??? You only need one exclamation point! Asking a question? One question mark. Ending a sentence? One period. Period.

  • AVOID USING ALL CAPS. All caps means you are SHOUTING, and, yes, it's considered RUDE.

  • Re-read every email you are about to send, yes, even the two-word email that says: "thank you." You don't want it to go out saying "thank yo."

  • Re-read every email you are about to send.

  • Use sepll chcek evry tme.

  • No, txt abbrs r nt ok. Type out words fully, even if you are emailing from a handheld. This isn't eighth grade, remember?

  • Never forget that this is business communication, no matter where your email originates from. Translation: no, you can't let typos go just because you're on a handheld.

Little things mean a lot, especially in the workplace. Take it from someone who works with VPs and CEOs all the time -- your constant email foibles will keep you from being promoted.

A version of this article originally appeared on The Examiner.