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Electronic Mail at UIC
0. Contents 1. Intro 2. Addresses 3. Etiquette & Acronyms 4. Quotas 5. Other Systems & Tools 6. Email FAQ

Electronic Mail Etiquette, Smilies, Emoticons, and Abbreviations


You can lose your UIC computing privileges if you send offensive or inappropriate electronic mail.

  • You may send almost any kind of electronic mail you wish so long as you know your recipient will not be offended.

  • You may not send SPAM, solicitations, or any other forms of "junk" mail. That sort of mail violates not only polite conduct, but also many long established electronic mail rules.

  • You may not send chain letters of any kind.

  • If you are ever unsure about sending a particular message it is probably best not to send it.
Smilies et al.

Remember that the recipient of your email messages may not know you or your style of speaking and will not be reading your tone of voice nor any nonverbal cues you might give -- he or she will only be reading your words. Experience has shown that misunderstandings occur when electronic mail is sent with little regard for how it will be read. Sometimes, the use of a computer "smilie" can help you emphasize that a particular thing you are saying is meant to be taken humorously or sarcastically. A computer smilie looks like this:


(Turn your head ninety degrees counterclockwise and you will see why it is called a "smilie"). You type it just after the funny thing you want to say.

For example:

This could sound harsh: Oh, I'm telling your mother on you!!
But this would be taken lightly: Oh, I'm telling your mother on you!! :-)
And also this: Oh, I'm telling your mother on you! <g>

The <g> stands for <grin>.

And then there's LOL (laughing out loud) which you use in replies when someone "says" something that made you, well, laugh out loud.

And if you're saying something that you know is your opinion, you could preface it with IMO (in my opinion) or end it with YMMV (your mileage may vary) to acknowledge that you know other people may have other opinions on the matter. These abbreviations save typing, too.

Related Links

There are lots of sites on the Web that list these smilies, emoticons, and abbreviations; Kass John's Electronic Mail Emoticons (Smilies) & Shorthand (Abbreviations) is pretty complete.

See also the Getting Started section in "Netnews/Usenet News" document. Etiquette -- or "netiquette" as it is known in the world of email discussion lists -- is a very important part of participating in online discussions. There are links in this section to the official Usenet/Netnews beginner's pages, which include lots of good advice on how to communicate via email without offending people. (Or making a fool of yourself. <g>)

Email at UIC Previous:  2. Addresses Next:  4. Quotas

2005-8-24  ACCC Consultants
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