Email getting you down? A new study shows that misuses of email can harm relationships and slow down business -- but it varies by nationality. One of the biggest complaints: slow replies to email. This is always a tough one. I once spent a week trying to reply to important emails as soon as I got them, but I found that process way too inefficient. More recently, I tend to bunch up a large number of emails and reply to them all at once -- though, often this means a delay in replying or (occasionally) forgetting to reply completely. Other complaints concern the style of the email. Apparently the French get very upset if you are too wordy or "sloppy" in your email grammar. The Italians disagree and are big fans of creative spelling and slow replies. The study claims that the Brits lie about receiving email in the first place -- though, it's not explained why. Still, they get worried when they build up a big backlog of email. The Germans, apparently, are the most likely to misunderstand the tone of an email and get upset at the misinterpretation -- which fits with the study we had last month saying many emailers had problems due to misunderstood humor in the text of their emails. All in all, though, it's probably pretty difficult to stereotype how an entire nation deals with email.
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