Using Correct Email NetiquetteUsing Correct Email Netiquette

For beginning Internet users, the web can seem to be a scary place. But it doesn't have to be. Information on Netiquette can help beginning users master the art of e-mailing.

MacMillan Dictionary defines Netiquette as, "the polite way of expressing yourself or communicating with other people when you are using the Internet." For beginning users, this can be a struggle because some of the manners deemed proper online can sometimes be unwritten rules which users have to learn from experience. Here are some simple courtesies when communicating with others in an e-mail.

• Do not type in all CAPS or all lower case lettering. All Caps makes the reader feel like you are screaming at them. When using all lower case lettering, you make the reader feel like they are not worthy of your time to use proper grammar and punctuation.

• Do not leave your subject line blank or worse yet replying to e-mails and not changing the subject line even though the topic has been changed. Always make sure to change your subject line to make it relevant to the topic of your e-mail.

• Use the BCC when forwarding e-mails. Protect all of your friend's privacy by typing your contact's addresses in the BCC line. This way everyone receives your message but everyone's addresses are invisible.

• All private e-mails are copyrighted by the author. Never post someone's private e-mail to a forum or send it to other's in an e-mail. Always ask permission before copying and pasting someone's words.

• Do not forward virus warnings or other hoaxes. Check before forwarding any e-mails.

• Remember polite courtesy when beginning an e-mail. (Hi, Hello, Greetings) Add a little small talk in the opening paragraph to show you are considerate of the other person's feelings.

• Proofread, Spell check, and use proper grammar and punctuation when writing an e-mail.

• If you are Instant Messaging, always begin your message by asking if that person has the time to chat with you.

• If you are a business owner never send advertisements for the sole purpose of increasing your income to all of the contacts in your address book. This is considered to be Spam.

• Never respond to a rude e-mail. Sometimes people send angry e-mails laced with rage. Sending these types of e-mails is called, flaming. Responding to the sender will only inflame the situation.

• Lack of vocal of non-verbal cues in an e-mail can sometimes cause the content of the e-mail to seem offensive even though it was not the intention of the sender. Always clarify the sender's motivation for sending the e-mail before getting mad and responding. One way to help the reader understand the intention of your e-mail is to use emoticons or place a gesture or an emotion in parenthesis. (((smiling)))


Manners are a way of showing people that you consider their feelings. Respecting people with politeness is an effective communication tool. Remember Netiquette in all of your e-mails.
by Scott Lindsay
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