Friday, May 30, 2014

Netiquette Core Rules For Grammar and Punctuation In The Subject Field - Via Netiquette IQ

Here is an excerpt from my book. It is noted below.

Grammar and punctuation in the subject field

            The first word in the topic area should be capitalized. All other rules of grammar and punctuation should be followed as well, other than ending the topic with a period since many message descriptions are not complete sentences. Many presume that the rules of grammar, punctuation, and capitalization can be ignored. However, since this is the area that may present the addressee with his or her first impression of the sender, all of these items are even more critical.

            We all want our messages to be read, and be read as soon as possible. There are many ways to accomplish this and just as many ways to fail in this. Terse and non-descriptive subject-line entries aren’t likely to secure a recipient’s interest and attention. Conversely, aggressive and pitch-like descriptions can easily produce their own negative effects. Be cautious of one- or two-word subject-line entries. Some of the most common are similar to “meeting,” “request,” “good morning,” “position,” and “something new.” Specifically avoid informality, unnecessary abbreviations, and emoticons (here especially).

            When spell-checking, do not ignore the subject line. Many spelling errors occur here. If a person is responding to an email and finds an error, he or she should correct it; not to do so might result in anyone else reading the email thinking it is the responder’s mistake. Clearly, one must be certain that any correction made is indeed correct. Be mindful of company names that mix capitalization unconventionally (e.g., iPhone, La-Z-Boy). When making corrections, do not chastise the sender’s error. Remember that true Netiquette is not meant to force a process on someone’s modus operandi. Netiquette works best by example, not criticism.

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In addition to this blog, I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, "Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

 If you would like to listen to experts in all aspects of Netiquette and communication, try my radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ Rider University and  PSG of Mercer County, NJ.