After erasing the fifth e-mail promising fast and easy breast enlargement, the sixth from a widow in Nigeria who’ll give me millions of dollars if I send her my bank account number and the 10th from my e-mail service telling me my account is going to be closed immediately (although the message was sent using a different company’s e-mail service and was from somebody named Chuck), I finally got a message that really annoyed me.

After erasing the fifth e-mail promising fast and easy breast enlargement, the sixth from a widow in Nigeria who’ll give me millions of dollars if I send her my bank account number and the 10th from my e-mail service telling me my account is going to be closed immediately (although the message was sent using a different company’s e-mail service and was from somebody named Chuck), I finally got a message that really annoyed me.

It wasn’t even junk e-mail. The message was from a friend. It was a forward, and misspelled. They should have known better.

People don’t use e-mail. They abuse it. Sprinkled amongst business messages, newsletters (some of which I actually subscribed to), and e-mails from family members, are the evil-mails. The ones phishing* for my Social Security number, cell phone number, computer passwords and what I had for breakfast. The ones offering cheap Canadian drugs. And, the worst, e-mails from people I know who can’t follow basic rules of etiquette.

Much like holding the door open for someone, or saying crazy things like, “please” and “thank you,” there are certain rules of proper Internet communication.

For those of you who can’t tell a friendly “howyadoin” from spam, please read on.



Jason’s 10 Rules

of E-Mail Etiquette

1. Use English. I don’t know, nor do I care, what ROFLMAO means. I do, however, care if this means you’re offering to buy me lunch, but I don’t know this because I can’t read Stupid. MTFBWY.

2. When using English, pay attention to spelling and grammar. Your message looks like a chicken pecked it out.

3. I don’t care if you think the mock motivational poster your Aunt Joan sent you is hilarious; don’t forward it to me. I think things are funny, too, like reprogramming your computer with a hammer.

4. Unless you’re really good at it, sarcasm only works when someone can hear your voice. “Those glasses look great on you.” See what I mean?

5. Type something in the subject line, preferably the subject of the e-mail.

6. By the way, “e-mail” is not a verb. It is a noun that stands for “electronic mail.” While on the subject, Google is not a verb either. It’s a multinational (and quite possibly multidimensional) omnipotent public corporation that owns, among other things, a search engine, e-mail service and the rights to your soul.

7. Don’t include me on any mass e-mail. That only encourages others to send me those delightful snowmen cartoons every Christmas.

8. Don’t send attachments. Yes, I understand that’s the only way you can “attach” things. Why do you think I wrote Rule 8?

9. If you violate Rule 8, at least send me something in a format I can open. I can’t be angry with you if I can’t read – then delete – your chain letter.

And, lastly,

10. No, I won’t be your friend on Facebook.

There, isn’t that nice? Cyberspace just got a whole lot friendlier.

*The Internet-savvy person can’t even spell “fishing” right. My head hurts.

Jason’s latest book, “What Lurks Beyond: The Paranormal in Your Backyard,” is available at amazon.com.