In pairs, decide which of the following rules you think would be good to have in your company
It is generally best to CC your boss into all messages
Under no circumstances must you send personal emails from work
Please make a habit of pasting all documents into the body of the email as well as attaching them
Please make sure you report anyone in the office who is forwarding joke emails
We recommend you avoid opening all attachments
You might find it is a good idea to write and spell check your emails in Word and then paste them into your email later
It is company policy to be careful with spelling and punctuation even in short, informal emails
We strongly recommend that you use clear paragraphs (one topic per paragraph)
Try to avoid using short forms and abbreviations (CU, RU etc.) in any emails
The best method of dealing with junk mail is to set your protection on ‘high’ and check your trashcan for emails that are not junk once every couple of days
For security and privacy reasons, it is not permitted to copy your work emails onto flash drives, floppy disks etc.
Deleting work emails is not allowed
We suggest keeping all emails short
As some people who read our emails are not native speakers, you should make an effort to use simple language
Please try your best to keep all sentences short and avoid complicated forms to understand, like passives
Please be sparing with the use of emoticons
You might find it better to avoid words in your subject line like “money” and “hi”, as these are often used in junk mails and people tend to delete them without reading them
It is vital that you remember to copy all messages into the ‘sent’ folder
Please make an effort to write interesting subject lines that will get people’s attention
Ideally, an email should be no more than 5 sentences long.
Without fail, quote back. This will ensure that the person you are replying to remembers what you are talking about.
If you don’t have time to reply to an email straight away it is sometimes worth sending a quick acknowledgment, saying you will deal with it later.
Put the recommendations language from above into order of strength, from strongest to weakest. Some may be equal.
Discuss with your partner whether you would change any of the sentences into a stronger or weaker form
Using this or similar language, add 3 new rules to your list
As a class or large group, choose a chair and hold a meeting to decide a ten point list of rules and guidance for the use of email in your company
What do email and internet words in italics in the original sentences mean?
Do you know any of the other short forms and abbreviations from the email, chat rooms, texts etc. below?
Match the short forms and abbreviations above to their meanings below
To be announced frequently asked questions later carbon copy thanks are you by the way see you as soon as possible in my opinion in my humble opinion for your information laughing out loud rolling on the floor laughing
What do you think about using expressions like these in business emails?
PDF version for easy printing: EmailMeetingsLanguage