Saturday, March 16, 2013

The most important part of an email which we cannot see - tone; cross language emailers take note!

Many of the blog entries produced here are focused upon the tangible elements within an email. These would include fields, spelling, attachments and many more. Collectively, all of these contribute to the quality, readability and clarity of our emails.

However, no matter how perfect an email may be structurally, if the tone is not conveyed or interpreted correctly, an email might produce negative results.
Perhaps the best insight into this was described by Nicholas Epley (University of Chicago) and Prof. Justin Kruger (New York University) in a study published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, December 2005.
Epley and Kruger discovered that not only were the receivers of the e-mails overconfident about their understanding of the message's tone, but the senders were as well. About 78% of the senders thought that the receiver would correctly interpret the tone of their e-mail message. Some of professor Epley's other conclusions were "People in our study were convinced they've accurately understood the tone of an e-mail message when in fact their odds are no better than chance (58%)." and "People often think the tone or emotion in their messages is obvious because they 'hear' the tone they intend in their head as they write." The research also maintained that recipients believe they've correctly interpreted the tone 90% of the time!
We should all be careful of our tone and do everything possible to accomlish the delivery and effect we intend. This particularly is true for those writing to others outside their, demographics, country or culture. Future blogs will elaborate upon optimizing the accuracy of tone for each message an email sender composes.
Watch for the forthcoming book by Paul Babicki "NetiquetteIQ, A Comprehensive Guite to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". There will also be a product to test one's Netiquette "IQ". The website will be open soon at

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Defamation - for US and non-US usres

My original response was to sue her for defamation of character but then I realized I had no character.
- Charles Barkley

 Today's blog will provide a brief explanation on what defamation is. Some users assume knowing what defamation entails and that it is global in nature. This is not the case. What is defamation in the USA may not apply in India, Russia or Japan. Conversely, what may be legal or appropriate in the United States may not be the same overseas. However, if the basic guides of Netiquette are followed, the chances are far greater that anything inappropriate will occur even across international borders.


        Defamation is easier to do with email than through other mediums. If you quote someone from an email but only with select certain portions that change the meaning of what is said or distort the content, it can be a strong case for defamation. If you do not put the quote into context, and it besmirches their reputation, that can also be considered defamation. If someone does it to you, there are many potential avenues of attack and several ways it is actionable in court. Still, if you are worried about email privacy, put a disclaimer in your footer indicating that the email is considered private and is not for publication. It really is not necessary for the most part but is never a bad idea.

If an email is forwarded and part of it is changed or left out with a negative result or changed meaning, it is defamation.

If the last sentence is removed, it will change the entire context of the quote.

As always, any comments are appreciated. Watch for the author's book and forthcoming NetiquetteIQ test and rating product to be released.

Paul Babicki - under construction