Sending Email

Reread your email before sending, spell-check, and never send an email while angry.

You can send an email in five basic actions: (1) press <ctrl>-n to create a new email, (2) type the message, (3) enter the subject, (4) enter the addressee’s email address, (5) send. However, first make sure that you have followed the three email sending commandments:

  • Reread. Always reread your email and make sure it doesn’t contain anything inappropriate that you don’t mind being recorded for all time and passed on to others Many people have mistakenly assumed that their email will remain private, with rapid and embarrassing results.
  • Spell-check. You should set your program to automatically spell-check before sending. It is easy to make spelling mistakes when typing fast that make your email hard to read and understand. An email with spelling errors gives the impression that you don’t care about the addressee enough to take the time to do an automatic spell-check. You can also activate the spell-check manually at any time with most email client programs.
  • Be calm. Never send an email message when you’re angry — you will always regret it later. Before widespread use of email, a person had to stay mad long enough to get a pad of paper and pen, write a letter full of ill-advised words, find the person’s address, address the envelope, and then walk or drive to the nearest post office box. However, there is no equivalent time buffer with email which can be sent within minutes or even seconds of becoming angry. Remember that an email can be saved, printed, and forwarded to others across the Internet. Be careful about leaving permanent evidence of your temper, or you will surely find an opportunity to regret it.

The section on Internet Netiquette provides additional guidelines for composing and sending email.