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Email Tip to Avoid Embarrassment

Every week I get an email from someone that wasn’t meant to be sent–at least not in its current state. The next message, sent seconds later, says "Oops! Please ignore my previous message."

One way or another, the writer sent the email by mistake. It wasn’t finished, reviewed for completeness, or proofread for errors.

It’s easy to avoid this chronic problem. Write the message first–before filling in the "To" box. Finish the message, check it, proofread it, and then fill in the address of the recipients. This way, you can prevent yourself from sending email by accident.

By inserting the recipients at the end–as a separate step–you may also avoid inserting the wrong names. But that does take concentration no matter when you do it.

Avoid embarrassment. Do what everyone does with mail sent through the postal service–address the message as a final step.

Other search spellings: emial, embarrassing, embarassing, mesage, e-mail, recipent

Posted by Lynn Gaertner Johnson
By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English. She grew up in suburban Chicago, Illinois.