Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

E-mailing style seen as reflection of your respect for recipient

People should avoid using terms such as 'Cheers,' 'Truly Yours' while writing to colleagues, clients

E-mailing style seen as reflection of your respect for recipient

Your boss sends a mass e-mail to the team. She doles out the updates and assignments, and signs her e-mail, "Truly yours."
You choke on your latte. Truly whose? Shouldn't that be reserved for her child, husband or personal shopper? Yes, according to etiquette. But in our casual society, computer screens have replaced embossed letterhead, and no one appears to be over-thinking the way they end e-mails.
"E-mail's sort of a representation of this informal society we live in," says Jeff Steele, the author of "Email: The Manual." "We're more informal in dress, manner and communication, but that doesn't mean the person on the other end of your e-mail doesn't want to be addressed properly."
Perhaps you've never pondered it. You just shoot off the e-mail with no salutation or sign-off. But the way you begin and end an e-mail is a reflection of your respect for the recipient, Steele says.
"It shows him or her that you're not too busy to show some courtesy. Imagine what that recipient is thinking when they get one monolithic block of copy with no salutation and closing."
Before signing his name, James Wickstrom of California, puts a "Thanks" at the end of his e-mails. "It's respectful," he says. His friend, Andre Gharagozian, favors "Cheers." "I used to put all sorts of stuff at the bottom of e-mails, like 'Rock on,'" Gharagozian says. "But as I got older I stopped doing that."
Anything goes with friends and loved ones. But one should be careful with work-related e-mails, especially when you consider the range of ages and backgrounds in one office.
"Once upon a time, a business letter was often dictated to a secretary who knew all the protocol," Steele says. "It was formal, yet official and respectful. My dad came into his career in the early '50s. If he addressed his business associate, it was with 'How do you do?' or 'Good afternoon.'"
If you receive an e-mail from Chloe Hedden, a freelance illustrator , it will always end with "Best wishes," whether you're her client or her friend. "It is kind, not too formal, but formal enough," Hedden says. "It can mean anything that recipient wants and reflects my true intentions: that I want only the best for them, whatever that might mean on an individual basis."
We've all seen emoticons in our e-mails. Those yellow smiley faces with the varying degree of toothiness. But at work?
"That's as inappropriate as coming to work in your pj's," Steele says. "Always err on the side of professionalism."
Dating, on the other hand, is different.
Online dating expert Todd Anthony of Yahoo Personals loves emoticons. In fact, symbols of any kind are a great way to show personality, he says. He feels the same way about "xoxo" or the ubiquitous :-).
"It's ambiguous enough that it's not implying anything in particular but a mild interest," Anthony says.
"The sign-off has really taken a hit in our e-mail culture," Anthony says. "We're communicating by text so often now that it almost seems like a chore."


Updated : 2021-05-14 19:57 GMT+08:00