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Re: Are You Around This Morning?

I was reviewing a company’s email when I came across a wonderful email thread. It started with one employee wanting to know if another was in that day. Here is their email subject:

Are You Around This Morning?

The person who received the message responded that yes, he was indeed around the office. Then the two continued an email thread over the course of two weeks. They exchanged many emails with a lot of important business information. Two weeks later, what do you think their email subject was?

Re: Are You Around This Morning?

Yep! It hadn’t changed.

When they are looking for the essential information they shared, I hope they can remember the subject, especially if they aren’t around this morning to talk! They should have heeded my Email Tip Number 11:

Use a current subject. Avoid clicking Reply before updating the subject, if necessary. Readers overlook and misfile messages with old, outdated subjects.


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.

2 comments on “Re: Are You Around This Morning?”

  • And a tip: Make use of your email program’s thread button to sort messages by thread, instead of sorting by Subject heading. This way, if/when someone changes the subject heading mid-stream, all exchanges will be included in the sort.

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