Email Is No Joking Matter

from the those-missing-sarcasm-tags dept

We’ve pointed out before just how badly the world needs sarcasm tags in HTML, but it appears that applies to email as well. A new study says that approximately one in four workers have had problems with their colleagues who misunderstood or didn’t appreciate humor in emails that were sent. Not surprisingly, it was the men who more often found their weak attempts at humor missing the mark. Of course, it’s unclear from the study if the incidents were simply misunderstandings or (more likely) because they just weren’t funny.

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Comments on “Email Is No Joking Matter”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

It happens

I work for a global company with offices everywhere. The first time I ever had any serious dealings with our German colleagues, I got an e-mail response from one of them who was not only critical of my suggestions, but was down right mean and nasty about it, calling it the stupidest idea he’d ever heard, etc.

I took it to my boss and he said that’s what passes for sarcastic humor in Germany and not to get bent out of shape over it.

When I finally met the guy in person, he was extremely polite, unlike his e-mails…

Anonymous Coward says:

Fun with statistics...

Well, sorry to say, 20 years later, this intraweb-thingie is still male biased (as much as 70/30 depending on what aspect you’re looking at).

As a consequence, I refuse to take *ANY* statistic regarding men/women and the intraweb-thingie serously.

Lying with statistics can be fun. I esp. like the “sony and lite-on are the favorite optical drive manufactures” propaganda bit I saw on dailyrotation recently. What they don’t tell you is that there’s only a few prcentage difference in a very carved up market, with sony and lite-on being only two of about 5 to 7 makers with signficant market share.

eeyore says:

face to face

People are also far more likely to say something disparaging in an email that they’d never think to say in person, just like how people are snotty and abusive in chatrooms because they know they’ll never see any of the people in person. The funny thing is when someone sends a heated and obnoxious reply and accidentally selectes the “reply all” function. Our security guard up front will send out an email to everyone telling us it’s raining or about to in case someone has left their windows down or is about to leave for a meeting since the building has no exterior windows. A coworker located in a different facility sent a scathing and caustic reply about how this was a waste of time and money and company resources etc… She also hit reply all, meaning even the gov’t people saw it. A few days later I noticed her name was no longer in the site email address listing.

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