Pet Hates: By E-Mail

Number One:  The CC option.

 

At the risk of upsetting many of my friends and acquaintances, I simply have to voice this.  Why do so many people find it so difficult to grasp the concept of the BCC option?  Most people are fairly competent users of Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, text messaging and other electronic communication methods.  Moreover, most of us (I hope!) would have the courtesy of asking your permission, before passing on your telephone number to someone you do not know.  And yet, when it comes to e-mailing, any kind of consideration for privacy goes out of the window, and you find yourself receiving a message with a list of several e-mail addresses of total strangers – including your own – liberally displayed.  When I rant about this, many people gawp and ask me what the difference is, between CC and BCC.  I stare back, in disbelief, that there should be computer users out there who do not know this.  As I slow down my speech and start enunciating, I half expect them to interrupt and say they are just teasing me; that they know – but I only find myself having to guide them through the entire process step by step.  I do not want to know the names and e-mail addresses of the two dozen other people this e-mail has been sent to, besides me.  It does not raise the sender in my estimation to know that he or she has a well-stocked address book.  Also, I do not want that two dozen or so total strangers, to have my e-mail address.  I resent receiving spam as a direct result of this practice.  It really  is not difficult.  Just type your own address in the TO field, then start populating the BCC box with millions of other recipients to your heart’s content… No one will be any the wiser, and you will acquire an air of mystery…

 

 

Number Two:  Chain e-mails.

 

Women appear to be particularly partial to these ones.  E-mails with pictures of flowers, rainbows and saucer-eyed puppies.  Pedestrian poems about the precious nature of friends, the irreplaceable bond of sisterhood, a kitsch rephrasing of the old carpe diem adage, or the misquoting of words of wisdom from faraway lands.  After a slushy, saccharin sweet, nauseatingly patronising expression of the kind of love that feels like as welcome as a lump of stretchy chewing gum on the sole of your shoe,  you are instructed to forward this toffee missive to at least seven other victims, twenty-one would be better, one hundred and forty-four – and you are guaranteed unlimited wealth or unlimited happiness within ninety seconds.  If any of you computer whizz-kids out there can design a programme which can spot these e-mails before they land in my inbox, and immediately dispatch a raspberry-blowing emoticon straight back to the sender, please let me know.  You have got an eager costumer here.

 

Number Three: Mis-spelling names.

 

How hard can it be to spell my name correctly, in response to a previous e-mail of mine, which I have already signed with my name? You cannot say you cannot read my illegible scrawl, or that it is an unusual spelling of a common name.  It is no more than a copying exercise.  And if even that is too challenging, then just highlight the name, copy it, and paste it.

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9 Responses to Pet Hates: By E-Mail

  1. simon roberts says:

    Guilty as charged of the first sin.
    I am rebuked!

  2. Right with you there on BCC. I belong to several writing groups where the moderator send all mail ‘to’ every member. Great for mailing lists, awful for subsequent spam. As for chain emails, think yourself lucky it’s mainly doey-eyed puppies; I get mostly jokes – and far too many of them are sexist or racist for my liking. If I had more friends I might shed a few of the old ones.

  3. misscapri says:

    I’d put chain letters at the very top, the other two going hand in hand following. Because the people who do the Cc: thing are most often the ones spreading chain letters, many of which, contain a lot of misspelling. Yes, women are notorious for spreading the types of chain letters you mentioned, and men are more likely to spread chain letters with political rants and off-color jokes. Teens spread the “Forward this or a ghost under your bed will kill you at midnight!” and teen girls post anything to do with a crush, or how a boy was mean to a girl, resulting in the girl’s death.

    I smash them all, because playing nice and quietly deleting just doesn’t work. If you quietly delete and write back to the forwarder with something off-topic to avoid the issue, the forwarder is still encouraged to keep forwarding. I’ve smashed just about every chain I’ve ever personally received as well as others I’ve simply come across on the web. It became necessary to do this and keep the smashes because some forwards are such repeat offenders. I got the bogus MADD petition chain several times over the years from completely different sources for example, and got sick of having to rewrite out a rant debunking it again because I had simply deleted the first one sent in a reply back to the chain last time.

    Christians are another group who are addicted to sending chain letters, any with religious references, no matter how ridiculous. And for that, I apologize on behalf of the whole internet Christian community for this embarrassment.

    The sick kid hoaxes, I think those pretty much dupe people from all demographics equally, and I have it out for those chains especially, along with the faux religious ones. Friendship spam makes me want to punch out the “friend” who sends it. Just, urgh, so annoying! Write me a dang personal message, not some stupid viral that you didn’t write that has been around the world six million times! And when the only time i hear from these “friends” is whenever they send this sap, which waxes on about what it is to be a good friend, oh, man, I could go on about this. Friends really don’t have the time for you in real life or to send you a personal message, but they only barely think of you when some fluffy insincere chain message guilts them into spreading it to every blinkin’ contact on their list – argh!

    http://chainsmashers.mixxt.com

  4. Gill says:

    Yes, I agree, particularly with the first two categories. How I hate that awful syrupy, sloppy, tasteless chains!
    Best wishes

  5. dechareli says:

    Right on all accounts. This post is several years old, but sadly, it hasn’t lost any of is truth.

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