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A lesson in email protocol – and some person with a doctorate in education needs to get edumacated! (and grow up and learn some manners) November 3, 2011

Posted by Ruth in Lessons in Life.

On October 17, 2011 I wrote a blog post titled: Translating your emotions into internet text can be fraught with dangers, misinterpretations, and people just need to chill out.

It came about because of an email exchange I had with a 33 year old relative of mine. I had emailed him about some personal issues. I had written my draft in my Word Document, using a font and size that I always use. When I imported it to my email program and sent it off, I didn’t know it would show up HUGE! (I found out because I had cc’d myself) and when I saw my copy, I did see it was HUGE, but it was a done deal. So this whipper-snapping youngling got all bent out of shape and accused me of internet yelling at him.

He also got bent out of shape because instead of italicizing or underlining or bolding words for emphasis, I had used capital letters. So f’ing sue me! I’m only human – and this is the way I write – I’ve been doing a newsletter for 10 years and that’s what I do – and I’ve never gotten any complaints, instead- I get compliments – and when the former head of our Star Trek fan group sent out copies of our newsletters, nominating different articles for “awards” – many of my articles received awards based on votes from people who were NOT in our group. – Oh no – I just capitalized the word “not” so put the thumbscrews on me! 

Also in my email, I referenced an email that he had previously sent to another relative, and he had neglected to use her familial title – AUNT. I told him of his faux pas. The youngling got his nose bent out of shape and proceeded to lecture me that “email protocol dictates that when you answer an email, you address the person they way they signed their original email.” I emailed him back and said that that applies to business correspondence, not family members. And why wasn’t he addressing his family members as family in the first place? What kind of manners does this youngling have? None that I can see. Then he furthers his faux pas by telling me to address HIM by his professional title. In my return email I said that “I do not call my family member Dr. Familymember, no matter how proud I am of him and his accomplishements.” I may be proud of him in that regard but am appalled by his lack of manners, failure to give relatives their just due, and daring to lecture his elders, especially related elders. I said in my previous post that this person does not know me – cos anyone who does, knows that there are certain things I will not stand for – and one of them is being lectured to by someone who is almost half my age!

So today, here was a bit of a radio show talking about email manners and type setting
In past times when people wrote with typewriters it was the usual practice to put two spaces between sentences.  But since no one uses typewriters any more and type-setting is done on computers, there is no need to have two spaces between sentences.
The real news on the show was about how to address people in emails, that salutation and closing. So what did I just say this youngling told me? — Well he is all wrong! ANYTHING is acceptable. It depends on whom you are emailing! Just as I pointed out to him…talking to family members and friends are very loose, very informal. The guy on the radio even said that went he emails his wife he never puts a dear or hi before hand and never signs it, I am also correct in that older relatives ought to have their designated ‘title’ used…aunt, uncle, grandma…etc. So the bottom line …the youngling may be a ‘doctor’ but he doesn’t know his manners.

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