&^%!#&^@$!! Watch Your Language over Email

cursing zebraWhile it occurs to most of us that cursing via work email is inappropriate, several major financial firms on Wall Street are now developing policy to prevent foul language in business discourse. A recent articleExit Disclaimer in the Wall Street Journal cited Goldman Sachs, Citigroup Inc., and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., as a few of the firms that have banned expletives from workplace communication, with some going as far as prohibiting acronyms and shorthand for certain curse words and phrases.

I am certain that none of my kind readers (or what does Miss Manners call you–“Gentle Reader?”) uses such language in electronic correspondence, but I viewed this article as an opportunity to review a few mainstays of email etiquette, as outlined in Writing Effective Email, by Nancy Flynn and Tom Flynn.

1. Be concise and to the point.
2. Answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions.
3. Use proper spelling, grammar & punctuation.
4. Answer swiftly.
5. Do not attach unnecessary files.
6. Do not write in CAPITALS.
7. Don’t leave out the message thread.
8. Read the email before you send it.
9. Do not overuse Reply to All.
10. Be appropriate with abbreviations and emoticons.
11. Do not forward chain messages.
12. Do not ask to recall a message.
13. Do not use email to discuss confidential information.
14. Use a meaningful and specific subject line.
15. Avoid long sentences.
16. Don’t send or forward emails containing libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks.
17. Don’t reply to spam.
18. Use cc: field sparingly.

Attention to these guidelines should keep you in good stead with your employer and colleagues alike. TTFN!

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