Today I received good spell-checking advice in an email from Attorney Weston M. Binford, Jr., CPA. He pointed out that spell-check in Microsoft Word 2003 ignores any text with a number in it, therefore not catching an error like this: Retur4nsExperimenting, he realized:Apparently any numberinsertedmakes7itokIt turns out that spell-check...
I'm always thinking about ways to help people send email that's more effective. My latest idea is AAAAA email. A - Accurate subject line (not outdated, not too general) A - Action is requested near the beginning (not at the end) A - Accessible information (not buried in thick paragraphs) A...
We have all had the experience of someone misinterpreting our email. Perhaps we were sarcastic, and our reader viewed the message as serious. Maybe we thought we were being funny, and the other person read us as angry. This type of miscommunication happens often in email--perhaps more often than...
The other day I was talking with a man named Scott, who asked me whether I agreed with a tip he had picked up in a presentation on writing email. The presenter had said that one should never write to a group--only to individuals--because that is the only way...
Late last month the last telegram was sent--the very last telegram. For those of you who are too young to have experienced the telegram, it is was a quaint typed message sent by telegraph lines (through Morse code) and delivered to one's home by a human messenger. It existed...
Email has become such a communication lifeline that it's hard to imagine not answering it promptly. When we are away from the office for even a day or two, we want people to receive a response from us. We shudder to imagine not sending a response for an entire...
Yesterday someone visited this site with an interesting search. The words in the person's query were "linking mission statements with email etiquette."  Those words immediately got my attention. What do mission statements have to do with email? I think there's a strong link. The link may not be obvious...
Last week I met with my friend Ira, who is a senior vice president of human resources. We talked about business writing and about the errors that fill email. Here's one of Ira's thoughts: We put our name on what we are proud of. Is that why people are comfortable...
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,...
UPDATED IN DECEMBER 2016 Dear Reader:   Dear Reader,   Dear Ms. Reader: Dear Mr. and Mrs. Reader:   Hi Reader,   Reader, This post is all about the etiquette of salutations (greetings) for business letters and email. It's dedicated to the many who have visited this blog in search of tips on how to...