Communication Etiquette a.k.a Get a Clue

Question: Do they still teach language classes in school? What about English Literature or basic writing classes? They do? Really? In English AND French? Wow, could’ve fooled me!

Perhaps it’s because I have a degree in English literature or that I’ve taken journalism classes, or maybe it’s simply that I can spell – but I fail to see why people can’t take the time to speak or write properly anymore. I frequently receive emails and text messages from people who couldn’t spell properly or formulate a thought if their lives depended on it and this annoys the crap out of me. For those of you who are in need of a refresher on how to write, here’s some basic communication etiquette.


1- When sending emails, try greeting the recipient. A simple ‘hi’ will do. You might want to sign your emails as well – we’re supposed to be living in a civilized society, aren’t we? If you ran into a friend  on the street, would you skip the greetings and jump right into how miserable your life is? I think not.

2- Please refrain from using CAPs unnecessarily. It’s annoying and aggravating to receive an email that is over-populated with capitalized words. This comes off as arrogant and makes the recipient feel like they’re being yelled at, or indirectly being called an idiot. You’re the idiot for using all CAPs! Furthermore, lay off the bolding and underlining because that has the same effect as CAPs. If I can read, I can likely figure out what you’re trying to tell me without all the additional hoopla.

3- Those red squiggly lines that show up under your words? They magically appear to identify spelling mistakes. Ta-da! Why don’t you try using Spell Check once in a while and correct those damn mistakes before hitting ‘Send?!’

4- Once and for all, PLEASE learn the difference between ‘its‘ and ‘it’s‘, ‘your‘ and ‘you’re‘, ‘there‘, ‘their‘, and ‘they’re‘! Damn it people! Were you not educated in grade school? This is basic knowledge!

5- If you’re sending an email to colleagues, please cut the acronym bullshit. It’s fine to use certain acronyms if these are used company-wide, but other then that, no go. Save that for your personal communication and learn how to spell out complete words. How much time are you really saving by abbreviating everything anyway?

6- Similar to the above, there are way too many acronyms in use right now. Please don’t start creating your own because then I have to try and figure out what the hell WWEO means and if I can’t figure it out, I’ll have to ask you what it means.  This will defeat the purpose of ‘shortening’ your words to save time because you’ll then have to explain their meaning to me. In addition to this, by the time you figure out the abbreviation for what you want to tell me, you could’ve written out the full word(s), sent the email and have my reply already.

7- Punctuate! Please, I implore you! The period was created for a reason: so that I wouldn’t have to read your run-on sentences and disorganized thoughts and try to make sense of them. If I need to re-read your email five times to figure out what you’re saying, there’s a problem. So in addition to punctuating, re-read your emails before sending them. If you can’t understand them then the odds of me understanding them are pretty slim.

8- If you send me an email and it doesn’t bounce back, it’s safe to say that I received it. Therefore, stop resending me the fucking email! I’ll respond to you when I get around to it damn it!

9- If I send you an email containing some kind of important information that you are ultimately responsible for, then file it so that you have it on hand when you need it. Don’t expect me to dig through my shit and resend it to you multiple times just because you’re too fucking lazy to look for it yourself. I have better things to do with my time.

10- Run-on sentences and fragment sentences; first, I don’t want to read a novel – get to the point and remember to punctuate. Secondly, speak to me in full sentences, not code. Express yourself coherently – I’m not a mind reader! Find the balance between run-on sentences and fragment sentences. You will be a better person for it.

11- How many times have I asked you not to forward me your stupid jokes and chain letters? I do not read any emails where the subject line begins with FW or FWD. I don’t read them – I delete them. Stop it!

Got pet peeves to share? Comment below! And for those of you who are still a little grammatically challenged, take a trip on down to Sesame Street – Cookie Monster can help!



3 thoughts on “Communication Etiquette a.k.a Get a Clue

  1. I have issues with other people’s grammar and spelling as well. I edit as my husband is writing and it drives him up the wall. We have finally come to an agreement that he will finish writing, then I will edit it for him. lol. I can’t help myself.

  2. I love this post! Not sure if it’s a sign that I’m getting older, but I seem to have less and less patience with people whose overexposure to texting has infiltrated any education they may have already received, resulting in what I consider the dumbing down of humanity. Thank you for bringing this ever-growing thorn in our collective side out into the open 🙂 LOL!

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