e-mailE-mail has become the most important world-wide communicative tool today.

E-mail (or email) is another way of saying electronic mail. It is a method of exchanging digital messages. It operates on the Internet or some other electronic computer network. Since it was created for common use in 1993 it has changed the way that we all communicate with each other.

As more and more people use the Internet, e-mail has become the preferred or sometimes, required method of communication. You are connected right now to a computer network, the Internet, and probably use e-mails yourself to communicate.

E-mail is used to communicate with bosses, clients, customers, students, teachers, department heads, supervisors, managers, Directors & Presidents, co-workers & classmates, friends & family members, politicians, constituents & voters, lovers, enemies, husbands & wives.

There are many reasons why e-mail has become so popular. Given e-mail's overwhelming use today, most of us know very well the pros and cons of e-mails. Briefly, the advantages and disadvantages are:

Advantages of E-mail
E-mails are inexpensive and easy to use.
E-mails are fast.
E-mails can be organized easily.
Attachments (text & images) can be included in e-mails.
E-mails can be sent to multiple recipients.
E-mails do not use paper or ink and are good for the environment.

 

Disadvantages of E-mail
E-mails (attachments especially) may be infected with viruses.
E-mails can be indiscriminate. They may be unwanted by recipients.
E-mails may not be considered legal documents. They cannot be signed.



The above is a summary of a few of the major pros and cons of e-mails. Many more can be listed. However, the fact that this form of communication is the overwhelming choice of the majority of people today confirms the fact that electronic mail has shown itself to be a superior form of communication.

The language used in e-mails can be simple and casual. It can also be formal and very business-like. This flexibility of accepted communicative form can create its own unique pitfalls.

Miscommunication

Care should be taken to ensure that the message that we send is not misinterpreted by the recipient. Too often, what we write and what is read by someone else is different. For this reason, the author of this website cautions you to be careful of this inherent danger in using e-mails. Inflection, tone and vocal style cannot be used when we write e-mails. Too often the misinterpretation of a message isn't known until it's too late and the damage has been done.

It is sometimes preferable to communicate by telephone or in person, face-to-face.

For this reason, what are known as voice technologies are being developed.

In the business world especially, the trend is to make use of existing digital technology while at the same time include emotion and real time give-and-take to communications. In addition to re-introducing the human touch to business communications, low cost is a major selling point.

New voice technologies are integrating text and voice communications and routing calls to whatever device the parties chose. Internet calling services such as Skype and Lync are being improved and marketers are extending business communications beyond the office.

Regardless of the medium, improvements in communications are taking place around the world. It is only logical that the use of a common language be encouraged to accompany this uniformity in communcative technology. The range of our ability to communicate is being enlarged by technological advances, but are those improvements useful if we cannot be understood when we write and speak?

Practice!

Free Practice Available Here!

In an effort to encourage world-wide use of technology and English, the author of these webpages is asking you, the reader, to send him an e-mail as a form of practice. What is this wonderful technology and English knowledge worth if we don't use it when it's available?

Please send an e-mail to me (in English) at sdhanel@hotmail.com on whatever subject you chose. In the Subject line, write, English E-mail Practice, and do not include any attachments. Attachments can carry infections and I will not click on one. I will try to respond to every e-mail sent (in English) and I will not include attachments.

This is truly an interactive experiment. I hope to hear from you. By the way, my name is Scott.

 

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Last Updated: April 23, 2016