E-mail Etiquette

Ten Commandments for Electronic Mail Users

I. Check your mail regularly; ignoring a mail message is discourteous and confusing to the sender. Inform senders when their requests cannot be accommodated.

II. Use good judgment when sending email. Don't send electronic mail that is slanderous, obscene, or in bad taste.

III. Write email with proper spelling, grammar, punctuation and so on. Remember that writing in all capital letters (uppercase) is judged as screaming in the quiet world of electronic mail.

IV. Delete messages as soon as they have been answered or the issues resolved. For messages that you want to save, develop an orderly filing system.

V. Don't edit and resend a message you have received without acknowledging the original and indicating the changes.

VI. Remember that electronic mail is neither absolutely private nor absolutely secure; the control of a message goes with it to its recipient.

VII. Use electronic mail responsibly. Don't waste resources by sending frivolous messages, and don't accumulate large amounts of old mail that you no longer need.

VIII. Not all mail users are proficient at using mail, so be patient and understanding of others.

IX. Use the help files to expand your knowledge and use of electronic mail.

X. Encourage your associates to communicate with you by electronic mail; it has advantages to you both: speed, reduction of telephone tag, ease of reply, record of communication.

Adapted from The Digit, September/October, 1994 (pg. 18).