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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge: Let's E-mail

E-mails, the invention of the century, but which century and was it an invention? I think it was a development from something called ARPANet, but don’t ask me what, how or why. My name is not Mrs. Bill Gates and it just happened. We were one of the first in our little Swiss village to have an e-mail. Great, we waited a long while until a friend/colleague also had an e-mail address so that we could actually try it out.

We were both working in an office and gradually e-mails took over.

I was even against this new system at the beginning, in my dark ages. We had a telephone and could write letters. How stupid can you be? With e-mail you can do everything as long as you do not get a virus sent in an attachment, which can transform your computer into a worthless piece of cyber machinery. Do not click on links, they might be infected, and if you are into online banking then buy a separate computer for it. Otherwise you might find your bank account has dwindled to 0 amount and all your passwords now belong to Igor Russkovitch somewhere in KGB land or Ali Patel in the depths of the Indian continent.

So, having outlined what not to do, here is what I do.

I have an e-mail to send and I start with “Hi”. Why? It is short, simple and for lack of another word and I can spell it. Not being Australian, I do not start with “Gidday”. The British might say “Good morning/afternoon/evening” according to the time of day. In Switzerland we say –“Gruetzi” or “Grussech” according to what part of Switzerland you originate and how well you know the person you are writing to. I do not know exactly how the remainders of Europe write their e-mails, but we all have our own way of doing things. In this case “Hi” is now internationally recognised as a greeting. It would be difficult to do a high 5 on an e-mail and I still do not know what <3 means, so I do not use it.

I would advise writing real words that everyone can understand. Substituting “u” for “You” or “2” for too is not always advisable. Grandma may now have a computer and knows which button to press for “send”, but may not understand the modern terminology. Bear in mind who the receiver of your e-mail is. Writing 4594EAE to grandma might be showing your feelings (I love you for ever and ever for those not knowing the newspeak that arrive with e-mail and such), but I am sure that grandma will think she has won a prize and that is the code.

If I have an official e-mail to write, then I would probably do it by registered letter. I am still not sure if e-mails can be official. Would they stand up to being held as evidence at a murder trial “I am going to kill you this evening”. The next day the corpse is found with six gunshot wounds, perhaps six stabbing injuries and even strangulation may be the case. Will this e-mail stand up in court? The sender’s name is registered somewhere in the insides of the computer, the police have their own cyber department investigating the details and the trial arrives. The accused said I did not send this e-mail. True, it was sent in an internet café. So is he telling the truth? Did someone else send this e-mail? The judge and jury are confused. Can we send this citizen to imprisonment for murder and he is/might be innocent. All I can say is blame Bill Gates or the Ameican system that developed the e-mail system.

Being aware that my bank/credit card institute/tax department would never send me an e-mail, I would never send them an e-mail either, meaning I can remain with “Hi” in this case.


There are, of course, the things we order on Internet. It might be medicine, a book, an animal, food, a gun, etc. etc. Then I begin the e-mail with Dear ……and put an Attention in the heading just to make sure it arrives in the right place.

So now I have to close this blog. I have just received an e-mail from a Nigerian citizen that he has received money in a business transaction and needs a trustworthy person living in Europe with a European bank account. I have to confirm my bank details by e-mail to complete the deal.


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1 comment:

  1. While I prefer e-mail to 'snail mail', I don't actually use it all that often. At work, e-mailing is important and I use it a lot, but at home, I only use it for occasional correspondence with Joanne, if it's something that can't be summed up briefly in an SMS message, and for contacting folks on Blogger about Picture This, for example. Online buying is usually done though the sites of places like Amazon, so no need to send e-mails then.

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