Sometimes American office workers think that it is too bad the Internet didn’t come with a guidebook, or at least with elementary e-mail dos and don’ts. Though e-mail has made the lives of Americans easier, it also has a frightening tendency to take over their lives.
The average office worker in America receives 50 e-mails a day and about 40 percent of the commercial e-mails in their in-boxes are spam. Think of all the time an American spends deleting spam and replying to the rest! Then there is basic Netiquette (that is, network etiquette) American office workers should take into their consideration, for example: correct and incorrect ways to compose and reply to interoffice e-mails as well as rules for when it is proper to forward a crude joke, when not to hit "Reply All" and not to spam other coworkers.
When composing an interoffice e-mail, American office workers are advised to keep the following basic rules in mind:
- include a greeting line, with or without "Dear" as a modifier. This depends on the relationship with the person the e-mail goes to. If it is an official e-mail, then the proper title Mr., Mrs., or Ms., as well as his or her first and last name should be typed;
- use properly punctuation, grammar, and capitalization;
- do not overuse exclamation points (!);
- do not use emoticons in interoffice e-mails;
- keep your signature line professional. Include your tide and contact information, but lose the inspirational quote or line, i.e. "Have a great day!";
- do not spam your fellow co-workers by sending out general messages to the entire office;
- remember that e-mails are easily forwarded to other parties, unknown to you. So do not include personal information that you don’t want others to see;
- treat an office e-mail just as you would a phone call or letter. The courtesy of a reply is expected and required;
- reply to the e-mail promptly. Even if it is only to say that you won’t be able to give an answer because you are busy with a project;
- if it has been weeks or days since your correspondent wrote, begin your reply with an apology for not writing back sooner, and offer some explanation;
- when replying, make sure you’re replying to the right person;
- do not forward the e-mail meant only for you.
In a nutshell, e-mails are fun to work with when they are sent and replied to according to the netiquette rules.
a guidebook — инструкция по применению; руководство по эксплуатации
dos and don’ts — все, что можно и нельзя делать; “можно и нельзя”
a frightening tendency — ужасающая тенденция
a crude joke — грубая шутка
emoticons — смайлики; электронные картинки; значки
the courtesy of a reply — вежливость ответа
an apology — извинение
in a nutshell — вкратце