The Ten Commandments of E-Mail......

Thou shalt include a clear and specific subject line.
Thou shalt edit any quoted text down to the minimum thou needest.
Thou shalt read thine own message thrice before thou sendest it.
Thou shalt ponder how thy recipient might react to thy message.
Thou shalt check thy spelling and thy grammar.
Thou shalt not curse, flame, spam or USE ALL CAPS.
Thou shalt not forward any chain letter.
Thou shalt not use e-mail for any illegal or unethical purpose.
Thou shalt not rely on the privacy of e-mail, especially from work.
When in doubt, save thy message overnight and reread it in the light of the dawn.
And, here's the "Golden Rule" of E-Mail:
That which thou findest hateful to receive, sendest thou not unto others.

Also please check out the Netiquette Home Page and Marci Alboher's blog entry on the topic
or if you prefer the drier wording of an RFC Netiquette guide

We in the Technology Support industry urge you to consider the following the next time you receive a chain letter or message telling you the sensational news that USA Today and CNN forgot to mention... This should be required reading to get an e-mail account. Whoever decided to create this note and forward it on should receive some type of Humanitarian Award. It would be hopeful, yet doubtful, that this will clean up some of the junk that comes across the net. Think about it ...

  • 1. Big companies don't do business via chain letter. Bill Gates is not giving you $1000, and Disney is not giving you a free vacation. Honda isn't going to give you a new car to help their American marketing efforts. There is no baby food company issuing class-action checks. Microsoft and AOL have not merged and they are not going to send you a dollar for everyone you forward the message to and two dollars for everyone that *they* forward it to. You can relax; there is no need to pass it on "just in case it's true". Furthermore, just because someone said in the message, four generations back, that "we checked it out and it's legit", does not actually make it true.
  • 2. There is no kidney theft ring in New Orleans. No one is waking up in a bathtub full of ice, even if a friend of a friend swears it happened to their cousin. If you are hell-bent on believing the kidney-theft ring stories, please see: Urban Legends and Folklore And I quote: "The National Kidney Foundation has repeatedly issued requests for actual victims of organ thieves to come forward and tell their stories. None have. That's "none" as in "zero". Not even your friend's cousin.
  • 3. Neiman Marcus doesn't really sell a $200 cookie recipe. And even if they did, we all have it. And even if you don't, you can get a copy at: Then, if you make the recipe, decide the cookies are that awesome, feel free to pass the recipe on (without the fake story please).
  • 4. If the latest NASA rocket disaster(s) DID contain plutonium that went to particulate over the eastern seaboard, do you REALLY think this information would reach the public via an AOL chain-letter?
  • 5. There is no "Good Times" virus. In fact, you should never, ever, ever forward any email containing any virus warning unless you first confirm it through an actual site of an actual company that actually deals with viruses. Try: Norton antivirus or McAfee
  • 6. If your cc: list is regularly longer than the actual content of your message, you probably already have it stored in your old 8088, Franklin, or Adam computer.
  • 7. If you still absolutely MUST forward that 10th-generation message from a friend, at least have the decency to trim the eight miles of headers showing everyone else who's received it over the last 6 months. It sure wouldn't hurt to get rid of all the "" or << that begin each line. Besides, if it has gone around that many times we've probably already seen it anyway. Also, don't send text as attachments. It leads to "Box in a box in a box syndrome"
  • 8. Craig Shergold (or Sherwood, or Sherman, etc.) in England is not dying of cancer or anything else at this time and would like everyone to stop sending him their business cards. He apparently is also no longer a "little boy" either.
  • 9. The "Make a Wish" foundation is a real organization doing fine work, but they have had to establish a special toll free hot line in response to the large number of Internet hoaxes using their good name and reputation. It is distracting them from the important work they do.
  • 10. If you are one of those insufferable idiots who forwards anything that promises "something bad will happen if you don't", too're a lost cause already! And if you like something and want to forward it, trim off the "Forward this to..." section at the bottom. I'll forward it if I like it, but I won't send it back to you. You should know me well enough to figure out if I'm a "friend for life," and it's not national friendship week.
  • 11. The CEO Proctor & Gamble has NEVER been a guest on any of the TV talk shows to proclaim P&G's allegiance to Satan...even Sally Jesse's. All the disclaimers to this fact are posted on the various shows web sites. This is one of the longest running hoaxes anywhere ...way before email was ever known by most people. P&G is NOT a satanic organization, although I'm sure Satan sure is smiling over all the prolific emails that says it is and probably says thanks to all the 'lost souls' who pass this garbage on!
  • 12. I am not even gonna touch the red spiders in the commode, the hypodermic needles in the theater seats, the car headlights/gang hoax, etc, etc, etc.... (But note that the more we spread this kind of thing around, the better our chances of giving gang members ideas....)
  • Bottom Line... composing e-mail or posting something on the Net is as easy as writing on the walls of a public restroom. Don't automatically believe it until it's proven false...ASSUME it's false, unless there is proof that it's true. Got it? Good!

    When in doubt, check these sites
    HoaxBusters Virus Myths S.N.O.P.E.S. Urban Legends Urban Legends and Folklore

    Enjoy this wonderful 'tool' we have available to us and use it wisely, please think before clicking!

    Now, forward this message to ten friends and you will win the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes... I PROMISE!! :-) ha ha ha.

    and for the Xmas holiday season

    Welcome to the e-mail wonderland!

    (to the tune of 'Winter Wonderland')
    (try singing this out loud at work :)

    Another "ping",
    Are you listenin'?
    The puter screen,
    Is a glistenin'.
    With icons so bright,
    They light up the night,
    Welcome to the e-mail wonderland!

    Gone away,
    Are the hall talks.
    Here to stay,
    Is the IN-BOX.
    Flagged "urgent, please read!",
    And "answer with speed!".
    Welcome to the e-mail wonderland!

    In the morning e-mails start to add up.
    No lunch today cause messages abound.
    Just click away and hope the server stays up.
    You can't do your job if it goes down.

    10 P.M.,
    You're not tired.
    The caffeine,
    Has got you wired.
    The day's not complete,
    Till the last delete,
    Welcome to the e-mail wonderland!

    In the morning e-mails start to add up,
    No lunch today cause messages abound.
    Just click away and hope the server stays up.
    You can't do your job if it goes down.

    Until you,
    Are retired,
    The same old grind,
    It is required.
    You'll face unafraid,
    That message parade.
    Welcome to the e-mail wonderland

    This page was last updated on 2009-07-01