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RANT: Email I: Messy Is As Messy Does


This here's a big one. I use email a lot. I use it at home and at work. I'd say that 80-90% of my communication is actually done via email. That's a lot of email. It's also a lot of rant material.

Awright, let's get it on.

First and fucking foremost: Spelling. Find a spellchecker. Get to know your spellchecker. Develop a relationship with your spellchecker. When a spellchecker tells you that you spelled a word wrong, do not immediately click the "LEARN" (or equivalent) button under the assumption that your vocabulary is bigger than the spellchecker's. Verify with some other source (a dictionary, maybe) that you spelled the word correctly... then, if it's still not there, add it.

Using a spellchecker is easy. I swear. If you find that it's too difficult for you, then you probably shouldn't be online and I hope someone catches you and takes your access away.

Once you are able to spell at least as well as an eighth grader in your correspondence, you have earned the right to misspell certain words on purpose. For example, my use of the word "awright" above. It's not really a word. It's an approximation of the way some people pronounce "all right". I get to cheat like that because I can spell real words.

Punctuation. Ok, everyone has their faults. I'll admit, I'm probably overly fond of the ... and the parenthesis. I'm trying to cut down... (I swear). This is about you, though, not me. So, listen up all you bastards who simply must use multiple exclamation points and question marks. STOP IT! It makes you look like an excitable cheerleader on crank. It's not pretty. I'm always afraid you people are peeing all over yourselves while you type. Calm the hell down.

Capitalization. This is simple folks. Capitalize the first word in the sentence. (Exception: When that word is a name, and the name is specifically uncapitalized. Such as: eBay.) Capitalize people's names. (Fred, Daphne, etc.) Capitalize names of places. (San Francisco, Idaho Falls, etc.) Do not capitalize every word in the sentence unless it is a title of some sort. Do not capitalize every letter in a word unless you are YELLING! Pretty fucking simple.

Grammar. I admit, I ain't no English major. There are plenty of holes in my grammar. They don't tend to be big gaping holes, however. I can put together a decent sentence, and that's all I'm really asking in return. If you have poor grammar, go back to school. If you're still in school... log off and go do your fucking homework. (Oh, and by the way... ESL doesn't cut it as an excuse.)

l33tz. You're not elite. Knock it off.

If you properly understand and regularly follow all of the above guidelines, you've earned the right to break them at will. This does not mean you should type like a fucking idiot for no reason. This means that you should know when to change your typing style for effect.

In this mostly textual environment typing is how you portray yourself. If you type like a moron, expect to be treated like one.

Original date: 10/26/98