our listener stephen created this lovely rules of email....he did this in 2002 but i think it still applies! he does need to add a section about avatars/icon pictures....
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION RULES OF PRACTICE
If you would like to engage in electronic communication with me via
email or instant message, you need to know The Rules. If you don't
like them, never write me again. If you agree to be completely bound
by them, I will continue to correspond with you. If you break a rule,
you are dead to me, and will be banished to E-Mail Jail, where your
messages will sit unread forever.
Do not laugh at yourself in an email. If you say something funny,
just say it. If it's funny, I will know it is a joke, so I do
not need the indicator "LOL" to signal a joke has just
been made. If you make a statement and follow it by LOL, it's a clear
sign that what you said is not funny. Also, you are insecure about
whether or not you are funny, which makes your attempted joke even
less funny, or not funny at all even if it were funny. You are an
attention seeking fool if you do this. If you feel the need to do this
with your other email buddies, I suggest writing "I WANT ATTENTION
BECAUSE MY MOMMY DOESN'T LOVE ME" instead of LOL.
1a. Laughing really hard
I will never give you permission to "LMAO" (Laugh My As
Off) or ROTFL ("Rolling On The Floor Laughing"), or any
other such big laugh that is above and beyond just plain old LOL.
Never. If you claim to be doing any of the above, you have borderline
personality disorder. Drink a gallon of Drano before you email another
person. Also, check your medication.
Forwarding is perhaps the trickiest of all e-mail or IM talents, and
can only be mastered after you have been spanked a few times on the
knuckles with an electronic ruler and made a fool of. Sure, when you
first got e-mail, you were giddy as a little school girl, and
EVERYTHING you received, you had to forward, to show you were in
"the game" and had e-mail material. Little did you know
that the joke/magic trick/picture/porn site you received had been
around the world over 1 kazilllion (that's a 1 to the
gazillionth power) times before you joined the internet community.
100% of all forwarded non-joke emails are a scam. You are just too
fucking stupid to recognize it. Here's a simple rule for you: if
you are tempted to send me an email that has "FW:" in the
subject line, read it, send the sender your credit card and social
security numbers, and delete my name from your address book. Start up
the chipmunks that run on the wheel powering your pea-sized brain for
just an instant and think: could there possibly be a way that
forwarding e-mail purporting to be part of some sort of Microsoft
tracking system really result in ALL of the people you sent it to
getting money? Think, you dirty rotten sonofabitch! Cavemen
didn't fall for these.
2b. Forwarding Virus Hoaxes
99.9999999% of all e-mail messages regarding computer viruses are
hoaxes. If there really is a computer virus hoax spreading, you will
find out about it in one of three ways: (1) your computer stops
working (easiest way); (2) your office IT person sends an e-mail about
a virus; or, (3) a credible news service will report the virus. Here
is a helpful link to distract you from bothering me with this shit:
2c. Forwarding Urban Legends
If you send these, you have the mentality of a seventh grader, and
not a smart one, but one in the "slow" class who goes to
the zoo a lot. Another helpful link so that I don't get more
messages about missing kids, canceling Sesame Street, spider eggs,
gerbils, Evian water being filtered with cow's blood, etc.:
2d. Forwarding your jokes
Many times, jokes are forwarded, and it is clear that the sender
never read the fucking thing themselves. This is one of the worst
e-crimes, and will certainly get you hated by all recipients. Ask
yourself, "Is this joke 'funny'???"
Webster's defines "funny" as: 1 a : affording light
mirth and laughter : AMUSING b : seeking or intended to amuse :
FACETIOUS. Does the thing you are sending meet this definition? If
not, don't fucking send it to me. On second thought, just
don't sent it to me. LOL at yourself.
2e. Forwarding my jokes
I am funny and would give you permission to forward my jokes, but you
are too stupid to remove my name from the header. Since you cannot
remove my name from your forwarded emails, and I don't want
every one of your dickhead friends to CC me when they get email they
think are funny, you do not have my permission to forward my jokes.
2f. Forwarding chain letters
Are you so desperate and weak-willed that the suggestion in an e-mail
that you MUST forward a chain letter to X number of people immediately
sends you into a frenzy, upon fear that if you do not send the
message, so ill fate will befall you? If you send chain letters, not
only will you be blocked, but you will be reported to your e-mail
service provider as a nuisance, and also as a jerkoff.
2g. Forwarding pleas for charitable help
I do not give a shit about your Church, your neighbor who is out of
work, your wife's niece who can't pay for her books this
semester, your daughter's Girl Scout Cookies, or your
son's baseball trip. I hope your neighbor never gets a job. Girl
Scout cookies are overpriced and suck. Baseball-playing boys grow up
to be limp-dicked car salesmen. I will never send them a fucking dime.
If you feel like sending me one of these, 1) Don't, 2) get a
second job, and 3) send them your own goddamn money.
2h. Forwarding Apologies
Let's say you commit one of the idiotic missteps listed above.
DO NOT then compound your idiocy with an apology e-mail, or a
retraction. These read like, "Woops, sorry guys, believe it or
not, forwarding that last e-mail to everyone in my address book will
not get my dick sucked. Please excuse the intrusion."
3a. Replying at all
You ask yourself, "When should I reply to e-mail?" Some
simple start-up rules: You should NEVER reply to jokes. The sender,
even though a jackass much like you, just wants you to have the joke-
they don't want your review of it. If you have nothing to say,
do not just reply to let people know their e-mail was received. No
one cares. You should never reply to mass e-mails. Obviously, you
weren't important enough to get your own e-mail, so surely no
one wants your opinion on anything.
3b: Reply TO All
A button whose existence should be limited only to those with proven
internet and e-mail savvy, the "Reply to All" button had
been known to ruin marriages, friendships, and cause war (in the case
of North Korea only). There appears to be a great deal of confusion
and split among the circuits concerning the use of the "Reply to All"
e-mail reply option. Thus, please take a moment to review the
below-listed rules for determining whether your reply is, in fact,
worthy of sending to "ALL":
1. Is your reply meant only for the original sender of the message?
If so, a "Reply to All" containing confidential or "For Your Eyes
Only" information would be wholly inappropriate. The bothersome need
for sending of apology-flowers have resulted from such indiscretions.
2. Do you know virtually everyone on the e-mail list? And do they
3. Is your reply "witty"? (see "funny" above,
it's like witty, only less funny). If the answer to these
questions is "No," it is likely that your reply will be appreciated by
few, and bother and disturb many.
So in the future, please take a second to stop and review you
selection of (a) Reply or (b) Reply to All. To quote the illustrious
and amazing Jackson 5: the love you save may be your own.
4. EXECUTABLE FILES
I know your Computer Support people have told you a million times not
to open "*.exe" files. You have no idea what that means,
do you? Here's a short lesson. (I'll assume you know what
an attachment is.)
If you get a file attachment to an email , the file has a name. It
might be something like "letter.pdf" There is only ONE
thing you should never open- an insidious file called
"*.exe." Only if the filename is an asterisk followed by a
period and then followed by exe should you not open it.
Otherwise, first, delete me from your address book, and then open any
attachment you like. The files that end in ".exe" are the
5a. Grammar and Punctuation
Are you one of those people who thinks, "Upper and lower case
writing is for suckers and old ladies."? If so, do not write
me. Contrary to what you believe, the Internet is not an alternate
universe where the rules of grammar and punctuation have ceased to
apply. In between a capital letter and a period, exclamation point, or
question mark exists a single and hopefully coherent thought. When
there is no indication of where a thought begins and ends, I feel like
I'm talking to a lobotomized, genetically spliced James
Joyce/e.e. cummings. Please. To the extent you understand them, obey
the rules of grammar and punctuation. You are not a rebel if you
ignore the rules. You are a shithead.
I know it's a lot of effort to type "On the other
hand" and "By the Way" and that's why you type
OTOH and BTW. You lazy, fucking, wideload, ass-spreading, french fry
eating, fad-dieting, selfish pig! Burn the fucking calories it takes
to write it out instead of assuming everyone knows what your stupid
abbreviations stand for. I do not have ESP, and if I did, I would
NEVER use it to interpret your stupid abbreviations.
You can't spell. Nowadays, every single email program has a
spellchecker. Use it or keep your mysterious "sa;kgj vnwaliu and
fgnwl;" to yourself.
6. EMOTICONS: Smileys, Winks, etc.
sideways pictures with some of the characters on your keyboard. These
"emoticons," as they have been dubbed, are used to show
physical gestures, many of which people never make in real life. How
many times do you wink after you make a joke or witty comment? If you
do, you're an idiot, and your friends probably call you
"Winky" behind your back. How many times do you stick
your tongue out after a comment? Also, the entire purpose of
communicating by e-mail is that I don't have to see your face.
These little emoticons, which represent your stinking face, ruin the
arrangement. Please, keep your face to yourself.