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War of the Worlds: Don't bother.

I love when people effectively use the subject line in emails (especially at work). In my head, there are actually rules for this, because I'm a huge dork. And if someone can use the subject line well, chances are much better that they have something worth reading inside (and it won't be unnecessarily long, etc.).

Rainy Seattle came out today. It's fun, except I don't have a raincoat, which is a really stupid continuing oversight on my part.

I've actually enjoyed talking on the phone lately. Who knew?

Though clearly tragic and deserving of prayer, I don't feel personally affected by the London bombings. Since I don't have a personal connection with the event, it wouldn't make much sense for me to manufacture one. I think being disengaged from television news helps. These things often take on a life of their own, becoming events that make people feel more connected to one another if they respond to them and talk about them. Nothing inherently wrong with that; it's just not happening for me.

This entry features one of my new icons for Irwin's, my friendly neighborhood coffeeshop (from which I'm writing).

Fantastic Four this afternoon. Yes, I get dork points for that, too.


dorks and geeks are cool, didn't you know?

WotW: that's what my sisters said too.

If you like Sci-Fi, and stuff like X-Men, you should really enjoy FF. It was great and I really enjoyed it. Funny & action filled. :)

Re: dorks and geeks are cool, didn't you know?

It was a treat!
What are the rules for using a subject line effectively?
First of all, let me be sure I'm clear: these are just my rules. Of course, if someone follows them, I respect them more, but that doesn't mean I'm right. ;)

That said, here are a few:
  • The subject line should actually be the subject of the email—the reason it's been sent in the first place. Sounds simple, but apparently not.
  • When the subject changes in an email thread, change the subject line.
  • Include cues to what action is needed (e.g. "FYI:", "Please respond:", or simply ending with a question mark when there's a question to be answered).
  • Don't leave it blank. If your email doesn't have a subject, please don't send it, because you're wasting my time.
  • Don't fill it in generically with something like "Question?" or "Follow up." This is not helpful.
  • Sometimes a message is simple enough to actually be the subject line. If so, leave it at that, and thank you for A) being concise, and 2) not being redundant.

1. So people actually send you e-mails with completely random subject titles?? How... strange.

I follow none of the rest of your rules! I'm terrible at subject titles, which is why I never title my posts either. My dad has occasionally sent me e-mails where the subject actually IS the message... I didn't realize regular people did that for real. I thought he was just an "e-mail moron".
1. They're rarely completely random. More an indication that they failed the reading comprehension/"main idea" section of their SATs...