Email communication

Topics: Linguistics, Writing, Communication Pages: 6 (958 words) Published: March 9, 2014
Email Communication

Do’s and Don’ts

Crafting your Emails
Single Clear

Email Communication


Email Do’s
 Bottom line to the Top
 Strong subject line: Impactful
 One subject: 1 A for 2 Qs
 Email series: Split in stages
 Attachments: Long/Complex Subject
 Concise: Easy on “Eyes”

Email Communication


Email Don’ts
 Ask ‘what you want’ at the end
 No fancy: Typeface-Only Black; graphics
 Emailing Subtle messages: Stay Away !!!
 Emails can land anywhere, just needs a computer
 Never send it without Proofreading

Hybrid Language: A Study of E-mail and Miscommunication
Laura Grosvenor
Electronic communication is a hybrid of spoken, written and digital communication. Using linguistic theories and ethnographic methods, this paper examines how the unique language composition of email contributes to miscommunication between individuals. Until written language evolves to account for electronic media, careful reading and writing of email, recognition of its hybrid nature, and occasionally bypassing it as a

communication channel, can assist in avoiding or correcting miscommunications. "Writing evolves when language has to take on new
functions in society" M.A.K. Halliday (6)
The content and structure of information is affected by
its media. (8) The newness and widespread use of electronic communication makes it a rich area for the study of changes in language use. Initial linguistic analyses
describe email as containing characteristics of both
spoken and written language. (2)(3) Following the
premise that electronic communication is a hybrid of
spoken, written and digital communication, I examine
how that unique composition contributes to miscommunication between individuals. Miscommunication can occur both in the writing and the reading of email,
which can hinder resolution of specific miscommunication events. I propose strategies for clear email communication, and areas for further study of these fascinating new language developments.


Properties of Spoken and Written
Written language is not merely a visible representation
of spoken language, nor is spoken language an audible
representation of written language. They are not mutually exclusive forms, but exist on a continuum, with each tending toward certain characteristics. (5)(1) People are more aware of the form and content of their writing than their speech. Halliday refers to writing as

being “self-monitored,” while speech is “natural and
unselfconscious” (5) He demonstrates that written
communication has a higher informational content ratio,
which he calls “lexical density”; whereas, spoken communication is more complex in structure, containing a higher percentage of non-lexical items. Because of the
increase in non-lexical items and dependent clauses,
spoken language is more grammatically intricate than
written language. (5)(6) Chafe uses the terms “integrated,” for written language, and “fragmented,” for spoken language, to explain a similar concept (8). Perhaps the most interesting of Halliday's premises is that writing creates a product, while speaking is a process:

Speaking and writing—each one makes the
world look like itself. A written text is an object; so what is represented in writing tends to be given the form of an object. But when one
talks, one is doing; so when one talks about
something, one tends to say that it happened or
was done. (5)

This preliminary investigation is based on linguistic
theory and ethnographic methods. The theories of
M.A.K. Halliday and William Chafe on the relative
properties of spoken and written communication are
particularly useful. The ethnographic data came from a
year of participant observation, supplemented by fourteen interviews and more than 200 pages of email conversations. The interview subjects represent a wide range of ages, occupations,...
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