Author Topic: s/o Blank Emails -- Not Reading The Subject Line  (Read 1330 times)

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Library Dragon

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s/o Blank Emails -- Not Reading The Subject Line
« on: June 17, 2013, 05:33:51 PM »
The topic of blank emails (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=128567.0) is interesting.  Still being new to smart phone ownership I had never thought of this, but it makes sense that a subject line is all you would need for the information.

I have the opposite problem.  People, co-workers & family, who don't read the subject line then ask follow-up questions. 

Example 

Subject line:  Circulation Staff Meeting

Body of email:  4:00 pm, Tuesday, in the staff lounge. 

I'll get questions.  "What's at 4pm?" or  "Did I miss a birthday?" 

Does anyone else have this problem?  If it was just work I'd take care of it there, but it's family and friends as well. 

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Yvaine

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Re: s/o Blank Emails -- Not Reading The Subject Line
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2013, 05:36:31 PM »
I think some people just don't even know emails have a subject line. It also explains why people (having forgotten my email address and not saved it anywhere) will dig up an old email from me, reply to it with their new stuff, and end up sending me an email with the subject line "Re: Really bad news!" and then the body of the email is "Picnic tomorrow at 4pm!"  ;D

veronaz

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Re: s/o Blank Emails -- Not Reading The Subject Line
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2013, 10:38:02 PM »
Sometimes I get emails with no subhect.  The subject line actually says No Subject.  Like, thei couldn't think of one or how to word it.

Harriet Jones

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Re: s/o Blank Emails -- Not Reading The Subject Line
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2013, 10:44:04 PM »
Sometimes I get emails with no subhect.  The subject line actually says No Subject.  Like, thei couldn't think of one or how to word it.

I think some email programs may put that in by default.

veronaz

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Re: s/o Blank Emails -- Not Reading The Subject Line
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2013, 11:11:19 PM »
Yeah, it's a default.

Bluenomi

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Re: s/o Blank Emails -- Not Reading The Subject Line
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2013, 11:54:53 PM »
I always repeat whatever I write in the subject line in the email to avoid this problem. The way my email system works is I have a preview window and the subject is right up the top so it's easy to miss. So many people miss it so I don't put anything in the subject line that isn't somewhere in the actual email as well.

Pen^2

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Re: s/o Blank Emails -- Not Reading The Subject Line
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2013, 01:18:34 AM »
I always repeat whatever I write in the subject line in the email to avoid this problem. The way my email system works is I have a preview window and the subject is right up the top so it's easy to miss. So many people miss it so I don't put anything in the subject line that isn't somewhere in the actual email as well.

I do this, too. The subject line is, to me, a very brief summary of the email content. "Dinner tonight" or whatever.

On the other hand, the exception to this is if I'm emailing my husband something banal. I'll just send an email that has the subject, "running 30 mins late", and with no body text. But I only do this because it's with someone I know well enough (hell, I married the guy) that I know it won't be misunderstood or overlooked. I wouldn't do it to coworkers or family members.

sweetonsno

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Re: s/o Blank Emails -- Not Reading The Subject Line
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2013, 03:10:19 AM »
While I would never totally skip reading the subject line, I also wouldn't mention the main point of an email in the subject line and nowhere else, either. To me, that's a bit like not signing your name. Sure, they can tell by looking at the "from" field, but failing to include a closing means sending an incomplete communication. The same thing goes for not reiterating your reason for writing within the body of the email itself.

cwm

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Re: s/o Blank Emails -- Not Reading The Subject Line
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2013, 12:08:47 PM »
I think some people just don't even know emails have a subject line. It also explains why people (having forgotten my email address and not saved it anywhere) will dig up an old email from me, reply to it with their new stuff, and end up sending me an email with the subject line "Re: Really bad news!" and then the body of the email is "Picnic tomorrow at 4pm!"  ;D

I can't stand that. If I do happen to forget someone's email address and have to dig up an old email, I'll delete the entire conversation and change the subject. I'm not continuing the thread of really bad news, I'm starting a new conversation.

Sometimes I have a hard time coming up with a subject line in my professional emails (new programs starting up, emailing clients, no set protocol for it), but I would expect that they'd read the subject line.

Honestly, I read ALL the subject lines in my email. That's how I prioritize what I read first. When I'm out for a week and come back to several hundred emails, I have to have some way of sorting through it all, and without the fairly standardized (within our office) method of subject lines, it would be nearly impossible.

TootsNYC

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Re: s/o Blank Emails -- Not Reading The Subject Line
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 12:28:38 PM »
I always repeat whatever I write in the subject line in the email to avoid this problem. The way my email system works is I have a preview window and the subject is right up the top so it's easy to miss. So many people miss it so I don't put anything in the subject line that isn't somewhere in the actual email as well.

yeah.

Because if they're moving relatively quickly, they may just note who it was that sent it. I do sometimes.

TootsNYC

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Re: s/o Blank Emails -- Not Reading The Subject Line
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2013, 12:30:36 PM »
I always repeat whatever I write in the subject line in the email to avoid this problem. The way my email system works is I have a preview window and the subject is right up the top so it's easy to miss. So many people miss it so I don't put anything in the subject line that isn't somewhere in the actual email as well.

I do this, too. The subject line is, to me, a very brief summary of the email content. "Dinner tonight" or whatever.

On the other hand, the exception to this is if I'm emailing my husband something banal. I'll just send an email that has the subject, "running 30 mins late", and with no body text. But I only do this because it's with someone I know well enough (hell, I married the guy) that I know it won't be misunderstood or overlooked. I wouldn't do it to coworkers or family members.

I worked at a place once where we developed a convention to tell people that the subject line was all she wrote.

We put brackets around it, which was your indicator that you didn't need to bother opening it, bcs it would be blank.

I've heard of people putting "EOM" (end of message) at the end of the subject line, but I like our brackets better.

and I started putting an ellipsis (...) at the end of a subject line to indicate that there was more they needed to see (other people would put "pls read," but that's more characters and not as fun)