Home > Kids > Values and Responsibilities > Manners > E-mail Etiquette
|

E-mail Etiquette

The ease of e-mail makes it ideal for casual correspondence, but it should be seen as a supplement to, and not a replacement for, other types of correspondence. Some situations demand a formal letter, a telephone call, or a handwritten note.

Faux Pas

In this age of e-mail, a handwritten letter or note is still king when it comes to gracious personal communication. Sending a note of thanks or condolence by e-mail has the virtue of being an immediate expression of gratitude or sympathy, but it is not a substitute for sending a handwritten letter.

The rules of grammar and usage are not suspended for e-mail. Exotic punctuation, such as dashes, slashes, and dots, makes the copy hard to read and gives it a juvenile look, like signing a letter with Xs and Os. If your system has a spell checker, use it, no matter how good a speller you think you are.

Picturing your correspondence printed out and tacked to a bulletin board will help control the temptation to use e-mail gimmicks. Always use the subject line to let the reader know what the message is about. Tabs and centered or justified text can be lost in transmission. Type single-spaced with a blank line between paragraphs. Using all lowercase makes the message look trivial. All uppercase is equivalent to shouting.

If you want to forward a message, check first with the original author of the message. You also should get permission before passing around another person’s e-mail address; in addition, tell people where you got their address when you are sending them e-mail for the first time.

When sending e-mail internationally, keep the language formal. Casual language, slang, or jokes can confuse and/or annoy someone from another culture.

More on: Manners

|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Etiquette © 2004 by Mary Mitchell. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

happy holidays

‘Tis the season
for festive crafts,
recipes, & family
activities!

GO

highlights

Gift Ideas Sure to Please
Find the best gifts for girls, and everyone else on your list! Visit our Holiday Shopping Headquarters. Brought to you by Monster High.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Print this free holiday wish list for kids, so they can tell you what they really want this year! Brought to you by Monster High.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!