Edward Lai Harner, Edward Harner
Andrea Harner
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November 29, 2006

'Yours Truly,' the E-Variations by Lola Ogunnaike

More email etiquette. Not that you need it.

"While on the one hand e-mail encourages people to write," she said, "on the other hand it discourages people to write thoughtfully." SO TRUE.

Robert Verdi, a fashion stylist and a host of "Surprise by Design," a makeover reality show on the Discovery Channel, is a self-described "xoxo offender." "Never in the first or second communication," he clarified. But after a few friendly phone conversations or e-mail exchanges, he feels comfortable with the affectionate and casual sign-off, though he generally waits for the other party to make the first move. "The other person gives you the cues," he said. "They send a 'You're the best! Love, Alison,' and you send a 'Hugs and kisses' and all of a sudden you're over that awkward hump and you're best friends." I LOVE THIS GUY ALREADY.

Many e-mail users don't bother with a sign-off, and Letitia Baldridge, the manners expert, finds that annoying. "It's so abrupt," she said, "and it's very unfriendly. We need grace in our lives, and I'm not talking about heavenly grace. I'm talking about human grace. We should try and be warm and friendly." I WANT HEAVENLY GRACE.


Fascinating topic (just wrote about e-mail myself today...12/1/2006). I think it's one of those "weird" things, where it depends.

Am I writing a friend, or a colleague?
Am I sharing information, or a request?
Am I hoping for a response, or not?
Will I see, talk to, e-mail this person ever again?
... and the questions go on.

I've had "The Conversation" with a few of my closer friends, clients, family members, etc. "How do want to use e-mail?" I asked...and the conversation was amazing.

You know, just last vacation I took, I sat down and wrote a dozen postcards (from Yosemite - www.JasonRecommends.com). The "response" I got was amazing...people calling AND e-mailing to say, "I got your postcard...thanks!"

Posted by: Jason at December 1, 2006 9:30 AM
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