Sunday, August 18, 2013

The rules

Since no one else will do it, I have made up the rules of use for email, telephones, and voice mail, plus a list of banned phrases:
Here are the rules:


Your work email is your means of professional communication with your coworkers and colleagues. Don’t use text message and instant message abbreviations when composing a professional email. Write your messages using complete thoughts, complete sentences, and proper grammar. Chances are that you speak English and grew up speaking it, so use it (no disrespect directed to those of you who didn't grow up speaking English. Also, if you learned English as a second language, you probably speak it and use it better than native speakers anyway).

The subject line of your email is there for a reason, so use it. When you send an email without a subject line, you are denying yourself and others the ability to use the subject line to search for the message later on. Also, if you do not include a subject line, and you or the receiving person sorts by conversation, those emails get grouped together as "no subject" conversations even though they are not related.

Online email and local email applications file messages in conversations (or at least offer the option to do so). If you use email in a professional corporate setting, you probably send a lot of messages to make requests for this and that. If you add a new request as a reply to an ongoing conversation, the receiving person will not be able to search for the new request because your new request was not made in a new and distinct message. Send a separate message for new requests.

Telephones and Voice Mail

Telephones have been in existence for over a hundred years now. Voice mail and answering services have been in existence since the 1970s. Everyone should reasonably know what voice mail is and how to use it. You do not have to give an intricate explanation of how to record a voice mail message in your voice mail greeting.

Voice mail was and is intended to be a means of effective communication in the instance that the receiving party is unable to answer his or her telephone. When leaving a voice mail you should record a message that contains actual information. If you leave a message that simply says “I have a question, please call me back”, you are not leaving any helpful information in the message and negating the effort expended in making the call. Go ahead and state your question, or make your request, so the receiving person can prepare an answer or at least have a general idea of what the conversation will be about when he or she returns your call. To do anything else wastes time and effort.

List of Banned Phrases and the reason that they are just stupid

Reach out: For what? Frequently used in place of call, contact, email and such.  

Circle Back: To what? Used in place of call contact, email, etc.

Heartbeat: Chances are you are not a doctor. How about “signal” or “data”?

Touch Base: Are we playing baseball? How about “check back” or “check in”?

GUI (pronounced “gooey”): If you are not describing a melted chocolate bar, it’s G-U-I. Graphic User Interface, if you are keeping score at home.

Database: Just because you learned a computer word doesn’t automatically make you smart.

Tickler: If your name isn't Elmo and you don’t live on Sesame Street, use the word “reminder”.

Xfer: For the ninety nine millionth time, it’s “transfer”. I bet you open X-mas presents on December 25th, right? Spell it out!

Pop: Things that pop are usually balloons or zits or knuckles. If you are using “pop” to describe something electronic, and the electronic components are not exploding and sparking like the bridge of the Star Ship Enterprise during a space battle, then use the phrase “pop up”. If you are Vern Yip, go ahead and say "Pop" all you want.

Plus / Delta: What? We can’t say "positive" and "negative" anymore? Thanks for taking a stand for the rights of the downtrodden and oppressed minus sign, jackass!

Cat (short for category): If you are not describing a feline quadruped or a 
piece of heavy equipment, use the word "category". You have hours and hours of TV time to fill during the coverage of the latest hurricane. There is no reason to budget your words. Just say category.It will stretch things out for an extra fraction of a second and reduce the number of times that you have to repeat the same crap that we have already seen and heard.

All text message abbreviations are stupid:

They are.

LOL: No you are not! I'm sitting across from you at the same meeting table. I can tell that you are not, in fact, laughing out loud.

BC or B/C: The word is Because. Use it. It's not difficult to spell. 

BRB: It is unnecessary to tell someone that you will be right back. The wonderful thing about text messaging is that it lacks the component of actual human contact. There is no reason to observe social protocols. No one really cares if you will be busy on the toilet or away making a sandwich. Just reply when you are done. You took your phone with you anyway. Text while on the toilet. No one will know. No one cares.

K: Unless you have been asked by text message to supply the chemical symbol for potassium, K is not acceptable. The word is "Okay". OK or O.K. is also (slightly less) acceptable.

I am also irritated with the letters B, C, R, U, & Y and the numbers 1, 2, 4, & 8: I'm sure you meant to write Be, See, Are, You, Why, One To or Two, four or for, and that you meant to completely spell out that word that ends with the "ate" sound instead of using an improperly placed number. See, That was easy.


Speaking of Twitter:

"#" #used #in #front #every #stinking #word. #irritating!

I use twitter, but the tweets are really difficult to read when all you get is a bunch of garbled #@ crap with a shortened hyperlink.

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