Tuesday, February 15, 2011

[Email Etiquette]

It's rough draft season, so I'm getting a lot of emails via rough draft submission and questions about points and appointments.  It looks like I need to work in a class period in which we discuss email etiquette. This is not a direct quote (I wouldn't dare) but a typical style of email message I've received from students (and keep in mind, I teach college English):

hey nicole i forgot 2 snd u my paper n are confernce today can i make it rite bak soon

No exaggeration, I swear... No capitalization, using the name I asked them to not use ("Niki, Ms. Cox, but please, never Mrs. Cox (see? no ring!) and especially not Nicole! That's the name I associate with my mother's displeasure."), no punctuation, lots of text speak, and glaring misspellings.  Now some I can understand... longer words like conference or analysis can be a little tricky if your gift isn't spelling, but words like write or back are words that they shouldn't have made it out of elementary school without knowing how to spell. Not to mention some don't even bother with a salutation (even this example has one) or polite requests ("please write me back soon" is ever so much more compliance-inducing than something like "rite bak soon i need to no."). 

And to think... some schools are cutting back on basics like English in favor of more math and science. I recognize the need for both, but what good is knowing how to cure the common cold if you can't spell, punctuate, or write well enough to convey your findings so the cure can be used?


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