When Office E-Mails Are The Worst

February 1, 2016

Working in an office comes with so many joys (note: sarcasm). One of biggest being company e-mail. When the majority of your day revolves around receiving and sending professional-ish e-mail correspondence, you become witness to some of the worst faux pas. Here are my personal favorites. Well, they aren’t really favorites, they are actually very irritating, but I just have to laugh these things off or else I will cry.


As someone who corrects grammar and punctuation for a living, ellipses are offensive on so many levels. Here is a proper definition:

1a :  the omission of one or more words that are obviously understood but that must be supplied to make a construction grammatically complete

b :  a sudden leap from one topic to another

2:  marks or a mark (as …) indicating an omission (as of words) or a pause

The very definition of an ellipsis is something is missing, you have intentionally left something out. Ending an e-mail with an ellipsis, to me, means you have more to say but you’re just going to let it hang there, you need the attention and want the person to respond or ask more, you’re being a passive aggressive jerk, or you really have no idea what you are talking about. Not only is it technically incorrect but you’ve just created a really uncomfortable situation all around. Congrats…


“Let’s take this offline”

I have seen this in e-mail and have also heard it on conference calls. Guys, it’s 2016. Let’s be real. When are we ever really “offline” and what does that even mean? Is this something so secretive that you need to have no record of this particular thing anywhere in existence? Do you have something to hide?

We live and work in such an environment that almost everything needs to be documented anyway. I think this has also turned into more of a time-saving method, but in the end doesn’t save much time at all. For example– something is brought up during a meeting and someone throws in the “let’s take this offline” bit. Okay, you take it “offline”. After such a discussion (separate from the original meeting), it is usually someone’s task to then “put it in writing” and “disperse”. So, what was the point here?


Subject: I’m writing the entire contents of my e-mail in the subject because I am just so busy

This might just be a personal pet peeve, but what is this? Does it save you that much time? You’re not saving me time.  The sentence is usually so long that I have to open the e-mail to read the entire subject anyway. Why? Just stoppit.


Reply All

Please, just don’t.

If you work in a large company, one of the best-worst things to happen is an internal e-mail that was sent to the wrong mailing list or worse, the entire company. As soon as that little notification window pops up in the corner of your screen, you know. You’re entire day will now be ruined by a deluge of e-mails, some stupid enough to continue the cycle of asking why they received said e-mail and others feeling the need to insert their snarky comments for fun. If this happens to you, just sit back and enjoy the show. If you can get past the annoyance of the whole situation, grab some popcorn because it’s pretty hilarious/stupid/fantastic.

If you don’t believe these things happen or have never experienced this, see this example here. http://www.someecards.com/life/digital-life/time-inc-reply-all-email/


“I don’t think was meant for me”

You don’t say. Similar to the above situation, just don’t do it. The magical thing about e-mail is that you can ignore it, or even better, delete it.


What are your “favorite” office e-mail offenses?

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