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CNNdotCOM Tools: Mind your netiquette

CNNdotCOM Tools: Mind your netiquette

(CNN) -- With e-mail now a primary form of communication for many, you want to ensure that what you send is well-received. We took a look at a few strategies for sharpening your netiquette.

The toughest part of communicating effectively over e-mail is that you don't have your usual set of tools: facial expressions and tone of voice. Using "emoticons" -- those sideways faces composed of punctuation marks -- you can enhance emotion in your messages and maintain the level of politeness you intend.

Even when in a hurry, you can remain polite by using abbreviations and shorthand. Acronyms like the following are popular:

BTW = By The Way
LOL = Laughing Out Loud
ROTFL = Rolling On The Floor Laughing
TTFN = Ta-Ta For Now
IMHO = In My Humble Opinion
BBFN = Bye Bye For Now
IYKWIMAITYD = If You Know What I Mean And I Think You Do
JK = Just Kidding
NP = No Problem
WBS = Write Back Soon

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CNNdotCOM's Mary Kathleen Flynn minds her e-mail p's and q's.

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Another tip is to avoid being a bandwidth bandit. Not everyone can download with a fast connection, and not everyone has the right software. So before you send an animation or those photographs of the new house, baby, or car, send a short message asking if it's OK to send your favorite file their way.

Good manners aside, e-mail prudence is becoming more important as courts recognize e-mail messages as evidence. Keep in mind that for company-owned e-mail accounts, the company owns the e-mail messages, not the employee. So use these litmus tests: How would you feel if your boss read this? Or if you saw it in a newspaper? What if the person was in the same room? How would you feel if you received this e-mail message?



RELATED STORIES:
Mind your e-mail manners
June 13, 2000
How to write an effective e-mail message
May 12, 1999
y: Internet's personality is its Achilles' heel
March 2000

RELATED SITES:
Email Manners Matter
Email Manners
The Net: User Guidelines and Netiquette, by Arlene Rinaldi


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