How to Write E-Mail and Not Offend Those Receiving It
I don't know who wrote the original piece, but I thank him/her
from the bottom of my heart; I'd been meaning to write something
like this (with my additions)...
- Big companies don't do business via chain letter. Bill
Gates is not giving you $1000, and Disney is not giving
you a free vacation. There is no baby food company
issuing class-action checks. You can relax; there is no
need to pass it on "just in case it's true".
Furthermore, just because someone said in the message,
four generations back, that "we checked it out and
it's legit", does not actually make it true.
- There is no kidney theft ring in New Orleans. No one is
waking up in a bathtub full of ice, even if a friend of a
friend swears it happened to their cousin. If you are
hellbent on believing the kidney-theft ring stories,
please see: http://urbanlegends.tqn.com/library/weekly/aa062997.htm
And I quote: "The National Kidney Foundation has
repeatedly issued requests for actual victims of organ
thieves to come forward and tell their stories. None
have." That's "none" as in
"zero". Not even your friend's cousin.
- Neiman Marcus doesn't really sell a $200 cookie recipe.
And even if they do, we all have it. And even if you
don't, you can get a copy at: http://www.bl.net/forwards/cookie.html
Then, if you make the recipe,decide the cookies are that
awesome, feel free to pass the recipe on.
- We all know all 500 ways to drive your roommates crazy,
irritate co-workers and creep out people on an elevator.
We also know exactly how many engineers, college
students, Usenet posters and people from each and every
world ethnicity it takes to change a lightbulb.
- Even if the latest NASA rocket disaster(s) DID contain
plutonium that went to particulate over the eastern
seaboard, do you REALLY think this information would
reach the public via an AOL chain-letter?
- There is no "Good Times" virus. In fact, you
should never, ever, ever forward any email containing any
virus warning unless you first confirm it at an actual
site of an actual company that actually deals with virii.
. And even then, don't forward it. We don't care.
- If your CC: list is regularly longer than the actual
content of your message, you're probably going to Hell.
- If you're using Outlook, IE, or Netscape to write email,
turn off the "HTML encoding." Those of us on
Unix shells can't read it, and don't care enough to save
the attachment and then view it with a web browser, since
you're probably forwarding us a copy of the Neiman Marcus
Cookie Recipe anyway.
- If you still absolutely MUST forward that 10th-generation
message from a friend, at least have the decency to trim
the eight miles of headers showing everyone else who's
received it over the last 6 months. It sure wouldn't hurt
to get rid of all the that begin each line. Besides, if
it has gone around that many times - I've probably
already seen it.
- Craig Shergold in England is not dying of cancer or
anything else at this time and would like everyone to
stop sending him their business cards. He apparently is
also no longer a "little boy" either.
- If you're e-mailing someone looking for help -- free
help, in particular -- try to keep it brief. If I have to
press Page Down to see your signature, there's a good
chance I won't get to it any time soon.
- Be careful with those 700K attachments to unsuspecting
recipients. Not all of us live in an area with cable
modems or XDSL.
- If your firm runs a spam generator, put a "to be
removed from this list..." message at the TOP of the
message. When employees who have subscribed to a
listserve leave, the listserve still sends them mail,
which gets junked and copied to the postmaster. Some
listserves are so stupid that they can't figure out that
someone's gone (personally, I'd say that 10 bounced
messages in a row would be what we call in the business a
"clue," but listserves seem to be
electroclueless) and so it would be nice for the
postmaster to be able to inform the listserve/spam
generator that it is simply wasting its time and
bandwidth. Most spam letters, however, put the "how
to be removed from this list" message at the bottom
of the list. Sadly, the postmaster gets a truncated
version of the original letter, and so never sees the