How do I smile in an email?

Ms Manners,

I heard that you shouldn’t use emoticons in emails, but how do I write my emails without them so that the other person knows I’m just joking and stuff?


Emails full of ‘jokes and stuff’? I want to work in your office!


Emoticons can be OTT sometimes, but you also want to make sure your email recipient knows you are LOL funny and that you constantly ROFL at their comments but even though they make you LMAO you’ll have to TTYL.


Now if you sent that to your 12-year-old nephew he might know what you were talking about. However, we should stick to this one major rule when writing emails at work: Try to sound older than 15.


I really believe that etiquette is generational and there are many different rules depending on who you are dealing with and what is appropriate to them, so try and think you are sending these emails to your mother and use proper (full) words.


Saying that, I’m Gen Y, but I’m amazed that this is actually an acronym that people use: ‘ROTFLHOLCBF’. It seriously is – look it up (and don’t use it).


As for smiley faces, they have no place in a business email. Let me ask you this, would you write a wonderful well-written letter to a client, print it, sign it and then before you mail it to them put a cute little smiley face on the page?


No, you wouldn’t (well, goodness, I hope you wouldn’t). Your client should be shown this same professional level in emails.


Enjoy your new confidence and the game of etiquette.


Kind Regards,

Ms. Manners


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