Courtesy takes many forms. Whether it's holding the door for the person walking behind you, stepping out of the way for someone carrying a load, or NOT making someone's eyes vomit into their keyboard, these are all small gestures that have a huge impact on the moods and opinions of those around you. Consider this the next time you write an e-mail and remember the following:
1. TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK!
For all things there is a season, and this rule holds true for your Caps Lock key. It's positioned directly to the left of your “A” key. When you type a sentence with it engaged, IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING. UNLESS YOU ARE ENGULFED IN FLAMES, DO NOT USE THIS KEY. FAILURE TO COMPLY MAY RESULT IN SOMEONE BLASTING YOU WITH A FIRE EXTINGUISHER.
2. Spell words out!
To a lot of us, this looks like something out of a Roman calendar. If you use abbreviations or acronyms, be sure that the person you're writing to already knows what they stand for. Shorthand such as "ur" and "idk" has to be translated and slow down the other person. Consider the fact that when you send a message, you're asking someone else to take time out of their day to read something they don't have to read. If you're too lazy to spell correctly, then they might just be too lazy to read it.
3. We can't hear you!
You can't attach a tone of voice to an e-mail. While it might have been obvious to you that you were only kidding in the last line of your e-mail in which you called your coworker a liver-munching harpy that flew straight out of Satan's backside, your coworker can't hear your dry, Alan Rickman-esque tone. Re-read e-mails before sending them to make sure that they sound the way you intended them. If you're in doubt, consider using an emoticon (or "smiley") at the end of your sentence.
4. No, really, it's not that funny.
Forwards and chain letters have never been cool. No, really. Never. No one actually likes them. No one likes you for sending them. We understand that you thought they were funny or cool. Yes, we know. And if we had wanted something funny or cool, we would have looked on YouTube or LOLcats ourselves. We also understand that someone sent them to you. That doesn't mean you have to pass them on. Break the cycle.
5. Check your facts!
Before you click send on that scathing e-mail to your friend about how he's a bad person for drinking Starbucks, why don't you stop to check the facts on that e-mail you received claiming that his pumpkin spice latte is made from the tears of thumbless, Ugandan orphans. A quick Internet search can usually turn up known hoaxes. If you're having more trouble though, here are some sites that should be of help:
Nobody likes reading run-on sentences because they're not very easy to read, and besides, readers' brains might get tired of thinking about the words by the time their eyes finish with the sentence a few minutes later before having to move on to the next sentence, which might be part of a bigger paragraph that seems to be lumped together without any signs of visible separation. The only person who can get away with a paragraph length sentence is Falkner...and you’re not him.
Everyone is allowed a few typos and grammatical errors, but the above mistakes are the written equivalent of Alien face-huggers. It only takes a moment of your time to check for these to avoid getting added to your friends' spam filters.