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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pet Peeve: Email Subjects

You know how when January 1 comes around--a completely arbirtrary day, by the way, by any stretch of the lunar or solar calendar--you take stock and rethink your life? You make promises to do better--eat better, exercise more, learn Swahili, whatever.

Well, here's something to add to your to-do list: Label your emails with something useful.

I'm surely not the only person on the planet wading through waist-high floods of emails. I actually don't mind getting them, unless they're shopping me a Russian bride or offering to enlarge body parts that I don't possess. If you're writing me, great! Love to hear from you! But I'd love it more if I knew what the heck you were about to say. Here are some examples of poor email subject lines:





From: x
To: Claire
re: you

From: x
To: Claire
re: me

From: x
To: Claire
re: from your mom

From: x
To: Claire
re: that thing

Believe it or not, blogfrogs, these are examples from actual emails. Names have been redacted to protect the whomever, but you know who you are. How about this?

From: x
To: Claire
re: that new YA book we discussed

From: x
To: Claire
re: your kid's failing grade

From: x
To: Claire
re: want to do lunch?

Get the idea? Also, if we've started a side conversation off a group thread, it's nice to stop using the group thread's topic as a subject line, as in:

From: member of group x
To: Claire
re: want to do lunch? (NOT: next week's meeting; I'm no longer getting updates about that)

Not a huge deal, folks, but I suspect you'll all get more response out of your emails if you're very specific about what the email entails. Oh, and a final tip: Don't use Russian Brides as your subject line. That will end up in my junk box.

Just FYI.


image: Vladimir Putin and his bride, Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Putina, now divorced. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

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