Email Etiquette

Category Internet Tips
Email has quickly replaced traditional mail for many of us. You can make it more enjoyable to receive these electric messages by following a few simple tips. This is a page about email etiquette.


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This is something I wrote recently and actually did send it to some of the people who can't get it after years of asking nicely.

If you have a friend who sends you forwards till your eyes bleed, subject matters you hate, boring surveys and never really connects with you except to send you more junk, please feel free to copy and paste this into an email. It's yours for the copying. Seriously. I hope it helps.

Please Hear Me

From a weary and often ignored reader.

Email Etiquette

After years of asking people to do or not do something when they send me emails, I am going to send this to each of you who have ignored my pleas. I hope it works.

If I tell you I don't like political digs, jokes, quips, nasty comments, stupid signs and the like, please stop sending them. It might be that I am not a politically involved person. Or, I just might like the person you don't. Political opinions are like noses, everyone has one. If I dont foist mine upon you, please do me the same kindness.

If I tell you I am not into religious things, please stop trying to save me. I may not believe I need saving. And I don't believe that, whether I send that angel prayer to 14 people in the first 6 minutes of opening the email, something wonderful will happen tomorrow at 4:30 pm. As far as I am concerned, something wonderful will already be happening tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 pm.

Hopefully, I will be breathing, sheltered, fed, content, and relatively safe. I equally don't believe that the universe, who already dictates my fate (if I were a believer in astrology or numerology) would cast some catastrophe on me because I didnt open or forward my email in time. One of the reasons I delete those, is because "I have heard my friends when they ask me not to forward them and I remember". And the funny thing is, some of you actually preface these emails with "I don't believe in these but why tempt fate"!

Now, surveys might be nice on the back of store receipts, as who wouldn't want to win 1,000.00, right? But when I get 12 surveys from one person per year and they all start out with "What color socks are you wearing right now"? My only conclusion is that person either forgets things quickly, or they think I have at least 12 pairs of socks and I wear them even when its 100 degrees in the shade. I promise you, if your questions have not changed in over a year, neither have my answers. But just so you know today, I am barefoot.

I am not saying that all forwards are unwelcome. I love anything with animals, cute kids, sand casting, amazing chalk drawings, and the like. What I do hate however, is scrolling down half the page to get past all the forward address, some of whom may not want everyone in cyberspace to see who they are, just to get to the good stuff.

I think forward is a great tool, but it also tends to make us lazy. When I forward something, I take the time to highlight and delete all the other people who have seen it before me. Or, if it's possible to capture the image and the text to a word doc, I send it as an attachment for my friends to see. It might be a bit more work, but it's nicer for the recipient.

If you like a bit of humor in your life, we are on the same page. I start each of my days with comics and LOL Cats on line. I personally hope to be laughing and crocheting when I leave this earth.

But it probably won't be from any kind of humor that makes fun of obese, poor, sexually different, or challenged people. The world is full of enough hate, and I personally don't find that kind of humor funny. Since I am poor, overweight, and physically challenged, it stings a bit more now days.

So, please dont send me those that make fun of other people. I am one of them. And it hurts.

If you are swimming in money and want to brag about your trips, jewelry, new cars and such, fine. But try and remember that some of us live under the poverty level, can't afford a dentist much less a cruise, own 3 pair of shoes, and ride buses.

So here is what I would like from you. News about jobs, kids, pets, homes, cars, births, deaths, promotions, good times, hard times, plans, hopes and dreams, and more. I want pictures of it all, so I can share in your family and your life as I try and share mine.

A friend told me one time that I tell people every time I turn around and fart. That might be true. But I don't have to wait for once a year and write the dreaded Christmas Letter and people don't have to wonder what I am up to.

Everything seems to have disclaimers these days. So, here is mine.

I know that it's a free country, everything in cyberspace is acceptable, and it's your right on your computer to send what you want. I get that. I really do. But just because we can do something doesn't mean we should.

A computer is not a weapon, it's a tool. That means you don't use a railroad spike to hang up a towel rack. Cyber responsibility is more important today than ever. But it's even more than that. It's respect for the recipient.

That porn you think was cute might be opened up when someone's parents are sitting behind someone.

If you think that all fat people should either lose weight or cease to exist, one of them just might.

Did that jab about the boss you just sent to a coworker during this mornings coffee break be fwd fwd fwd to everyone in the office by lunch?

When you want to make fun of an awkward kid in school today, you may find yourself at their funeral next week.

So, here is my advice.

The Send button should have a timer on it. Perhaps everything should automatically go into the drafts folder for 24 hours so you can think about something before you send it.

I am going to send this to a few of my people who just havent gotten it yet.

And yes, next week I will be asked what color socks I am wearing.

Comment Was this helpful? 1


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 6, 2008

How can I forward an email without forwarding all the names and email addresses that are included, other than my own? I don't want to take credit for anything, I just don't want the email info of my son and sister to be sent along to the next recipient. Is there a simple way to eliminate those names and addresses and still forward an interesting email?


Debra from Marion, NC


By Lynne (Guest Post)
June 6, 20080 found this helpful

Unfortunately, the only real way is to just right click, highlight the area you want to delete, then hit the delete button. It takes an extra second but will do the job.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 6, 20080 found this helpful

After you select 'forward' on the email's tool bar, the message will then display with blank 'To:' text the email, highlight the 'To' and 'From' info, once it is highlighted, select the 'delete' button and those names will be removed from the email message you are forwarding. Put the recipients name in the 'To:' text field and hit 'send'. The receiver will only see your name as the 'From' person, but no additional names inside the email message. Hope this helps.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 6, 20080 found this helpful

Very easy I do this all the time. Click on the link to forward the email to someone on your email list.


All you do is take your cursor and highlight the previous email address, and then delete.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 6, 20080 found this helpful

Nope, it is not necessarily this easy!

I use a server for my email, and not a separate email program. If I highlight names, nothing happens except that they're highlighted. I've found that mine offers the option (in the "forward" pull-down menu) to "forward in-line".

This option allows you to highlight/delete the extra names/email addresses. Unfortunately, it only works for purely text emails. If there are photos or attachments, you must first save them (to your hard drive), then recompose the email, inserting or attaching the saved material.

If anyone knows how to forward emails from such a server that only has these kinds of options, without having to save everything then recompose the email...I, too, would love to know!


My other option (that I am leaning toward), is to make MS Outlook my default for email. This would allow me to easily manipulate the mail; BUT then all the mail is stored on my hard drive, using up my space! Six of one, half dozen of another, I suppose!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 6, 20080 found this helpful

That is my pet peeve! I have heard that spammers harvest emails from forwards. I don't know if it's true or not. I use the in line option and delete the addys and then use blind carbon copy option to forward, sending it to my email with BCCs to all who will receive it.

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June 6, 20080 found this helpful

Jilson, try yahoo mail... it's free and you can use it with any server but Comcast. I love the format.

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By PoppaCas (Guest Post)
June 7, 20080 found this helpful

Indy gives a great answer. The method i use is click FORWARD then
go down in the body of the email [copied by my service onto the reply blank]- highlight everything i wish to remove and hit delete, much the same as Indy posted.


If you wish to send to many folks and do not wish each one to see the list you forwarded---click on blind copy option and enter the individuals you are posting a copy and in the TO: put your email address. You will receive a and you can delete the copy received.

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Read More Answers Staff
October 20, 2000

I have a problem that maybe sounds stupid, but I need to know the answer. When I receive e-mail it has a whole list of names of people who also have been sent this by the sender. I want to send it on, but hate to have all that extra baggage with it. Also if I save it in a folder then I get too much in my folders. Can someone tell me what to do to delete all the extra names?


Mabel in MN


November 30, 20000 found this helpful

We had lots of responses to this one. It is a great question and it is important for everyone using email to learn how to send on messages without the names and email addresses of all the recipients being displayed. There are programs capable of dredging out email addresses. If you wonder how you get on some spam lists, it may be from someone getting your email address from something forwarded to you that you forward on and some unscrupulous spammer dredging your address.

Thanks also to Janet in MD, Amy, Lisa, Beth, Susan in IA, Mary, Lori, Julia, Connie, and Anne Marie for their similar answers.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
November 30, 20000 found this helpful

Thanks for your request; I wish everyone would take an interest in deleting all those forwarded addresses.

There are two ways of doing this.

1. Practice on old messages. You can forward your changed message (see #2 below) to yourself then you can see how the forwarded message would be sent to your friends.

2. Move curser next to addresses you want to delete then left click and scroll down which highlights the addresses, then click delete key. This will remove the addresses.

3. When you receive an e-mail joke that is loaded with arrows and sentences are misaligned you can "clean it up" before sending it on. Move curser in front of arrows and click the delete key, then move curser to the next one, etc. Practice makes perfect. Send the "cleaned up" version to yourself, you can then forward the new version to your friends.

Hope this helps you.

Syd Barr, Dunkirk, MD

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November 30, 20000 found this helpful

The way that I do it is when I hit forward to send it to someone I type in who I want to send this to in the BCC field (if sending it to more than 1 person you solve the extra baggage problem by putting everyone in the BCC field, BCC means blind carbon copy meaning the recipient stays anonymous) then in the text area I highlight everything that I want to "remove", hit delete and then you only have the text that you want to send.

If you are wanting to save to a file. Highlight the areas you want to save and click copy, then open your word program click new document and then paste. That way you have saved only the portion that you want to save and you don't have all the headers and the people that the email has already been sent to.


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November 30, 20000 found this helpful

Not only are all those names a nuisance, they can become DANGEROUS! We don't like to think about it, but there are predators 'en masse' on the internet. To remove them... hit your forward. Then with your text in the outgoing/writing box use your cursor to highlight the addresses...and hit your 'delete' key. With some servers, you have to be careful to leave some of the message (or addy's) in the text box or they will delete the entire thing and you'll have to start over.


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November 30, 20000 found this helpful

(Contained similar suggestions plus) Folders really are a nice way to keep similar emails together. For instance, I have a recipe folder, a genealogy folder for keeping emails with family info that I don't want to lose, a "cute story" folder, etc. They really do take up very little room on your computer. Pictures take up way more space than text messages.

Becky S. - Cincinnati

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