Lewis' Blog Tales from the trenches of information technology

4Jan/101

Email proofreading

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I suppose to some extent, we're all guilty of not proofing our own work well enough. The quickly dashed response; the (not recommended) text reply while <ahem> driving; the trigger finger on the Send button which sends our thoughts dashing into cyberspace just a few moments too soon...these are all examples of this condition, which is simply part and parcel of the high-speed, wide-bandwidth world in which most of us live and work.

However, there are times when this type of thing simply goes too far, and the responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the person sending the message to proof not only the content, but the headers, as well (and by "headers," I'm mainly referring to the list of recipient addresses, although a well-spelled subject is worth a few points, too).

I got an email this morning from someone at a client's office advising that "somewhere in the system, [his] email address [was] misspelled." Well, as GroupWise maintains its system-wide address book in concert with eDirectory, I knew this could not be the case. I advised him (naturally), that if someone were to send an email to a dozen people in the office including him, but that if his were the only misspelled address, the others would receive it. If just one of those people were to respond to all without proofing the recipient address list, his "broken" address would get circulated (and of course, he would not receive the reply).

True to form, he forwarded me an example of a "broken" message. The message, as it turns out, was sent from his own Palm Treo running Snappermail and his own sending address was misspelled in his Snappermail configuration, clear for all to see, including he, while composing the message in the first place. <sigh>

Naturally, this was my fault...

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  1. US News & World Report ran an interesting (and brief) article concerning email practices, which I just spied: 18 Common Work E-mail Mistakes. Enjoy.


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