Oh dear

February 22, 2008

A large Swedish daily newspaper has an article about netiquette and how to (not) write a successful business email. And some of what they say is correct. Only, some of it isn’t. And I know this, because it’s what I write about in That Thesis. So do I drop them an email and say “Um, no, actually it’s fine to begin a business email with ‘Hello [first name]’, especially to the US, or ‘Dear [first name]’, especially to Britain; and almost nobody opens an email with ‘Dear Sir’, and in fact most USAnians open business email to utter strangers with only the person’s first name – and ‘best regards’ is a perfectly fine ending in a business email to Britain as well as the US, ‘Yours faithfully’ is like ‘Dear Sir’, so formal it’s almost insulting.”?

But then, the result of such an email would either be that the journalist would ignore it, or else misinterpret and mis-quote me. And after all the thesis isn’t finished yet so I shouldn’t go pretending to actually know anything (although I do!) No, it would end in tears. I’ll be quiet and let any Swedish businessmen who take that advice make fools of themselves – which is probably all for the best.

[Edited later: Bother. Somehow – I have no idea how it happened – this post was linked from the article, in their list of blogs that link to them. That is not supposed to happen unless you ask for it to happen which I certainly didn’t, but in any case I removed the link to the article from the post and hopefully that will remove the link from the article to the post. If anybody wants to read the article you can go to dn.se and look up the article called “Bomma inte e-tiketten”.]


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