E-mail 101

- rtfm alpha-century

Always answer

To the e-mails where you are in the “to:” field.

Like always! No exceptions.

Always answer in 2 hours

If you can’t provide solution just provide estimations — when you will be able to work on solution if at all.

The worst thing you can do — is to keep silence. Which creates frustration. People always fear of unknown.

Provide all needed information

To create solution and get into context. Put links, attach files, etc.

Use positive or neutral lexicon

Negative only produce anger. Not a solution. The best way for problems discussions is to provide few solutions.

Some useful abbreviations

To use in subject and create shorter more informative messages.

1L –- One Liner. Used at the beginning of the subject when the subject of the email is the only text contained in the email. This prefix indicates to the reader that it is not necessary to open the email. E.g., “1L: WFH today”

AB –- meaning Action By. Used with a time indicator to inform the recipient that the sender needs a task to be completed within a certain deadline, e.g. AB+2 meaning Action By 2 days.

AEAP –- meaning As Early As Possible.

AFAIK – as far as I know.

AR –- meaning Action Required. The recipient is informed that she is being given a task.

ASAP –- meaning As Soon As Possible.

BRB – be right back.

BTW – by the way.

COB –- meaning Close Of Business (end of work day). Implying that something should happen by the end of the typical work shift.

COP or EOP –- meaning Close Of Play / End Of Play. Referring to end of the day in a playful perspective of seeing work as Play.

CTA – Meaning Call to Action. Instruction to the receiver designed to provoke an immediate response.

CWC –- change in working conditions.

EOD –- “end of day”.

EOM – end of message. Also written as “Eom” or “eom”. Used at the end of the subject when the entire content of the email is contained in the subject and the body remains empty. This saves the recipient’s time because they then do not have to open the message.

FAO –- meaning “For the Attention Of”, especially in email or written correspondence. This can be used to direct an email towards an individual when an email is being sent to a team email address or to a specific department in a company. e.g. FAO: Jo Smith, Finance Department.

FYA –- meaning For Your Action. The recipient is informed that she is being given a task. Can also mean For Your Attention, For Your Approval, For Your Assistance, For Your Awareness, For Your Authorization, or For Your Acknowledgement.

FYFG – meaning For Your Future Guidance. Also written as Fyfg. Used at the beginning of the subject, typically in corporate emails in which management wants to inform personnel about a new procedure they should follow.

FYG – meaning For Your Guidance. Also written as Fyg. Used at the beginning of the subject, typically in corporate emails in which management wants to inform personnel about a new procedure they should follow.

FYI: –- “for your information”. Also written as “Fyi: “. The recipient is informed that they do not have to reply to this email.

FYR – meaning For Your Reference. This is typically used in email subjects to send follow-up information about something the recipients already know.

FYSA –- meaning For Your Situational Awareness. The recipient is informed that this information may be important context for other communications but contains no action required. Similar to FYI but used heavily in U.S. government and military email correspondence.

IMHO – in my humble opinion.

LET – meaning Leaving Early Today. Used in corporate emails to indicate that the sender will be leaving the office early that day.

LF – meaning Looking For something. Used in corporate emails to indicate that the sender is looking for that particular thing.

LSFW – meaning Less Safe For Work. Used in corporate emails to indicate that the content may be sexually explicit or profane, helping the recipient to avoid potentially objectionable material.

MIA – meaning Missing In Action. Used when original email has lost in work process.

NB – meaning Note Well. Abbreviation of Latin nota bene. Used before a piece of important information to make readers notice it.

NIM – meaning No Internal Message. Used when the entire content of the email is contained in the subject and the body remains empty. This saves the recipient’s time because she then does not have to open the email.

NLS – meaning Not Life-Safe. Used to indicate that the content may be shocking or grotesque, helping the recipient to avoid potentially objectionable material.

NM – meaning No Message. Also written as N/M, n/m, or n/m. Used when the entire content of the email is contained in the subject and the body remains empty. This saves the recipient’s time because she then does not have to open the email.

NMP – meaning Not My Problem. Used in a reply to indicate that the previous email has been ignored.

NMS – meaning Not Mind-Safe. Used to indicate that the content may be shocking or grotesque, helping the recipient to avoid potentially objectionable material.

NNTO – meaning No Need To Open. The recipient is informed that he/she does not need to open the email; necessary information is in the Subject line.

NNTR – meaning No Need To Respond. The recipient is informed that he does not have to reply to this email.

NONB –- Non-business. Used at the beginning of the subject when the subject of the email is not related to business. This prefix indicates to the reader that the email is not about a work related or endorsed topic.

NRN – meaning No Reply Necessary or No Reply Needed. The recipient is informed that he does not have to reply to this email.

NRR – meaning No Reply Requested or No Reply Required. The recipient is informed that he does not have to reply to this email.

NSFW – meaning Not Safe For Work or Not Suitable For Work. Used in corporate emails to indicate that the content may be sexually explicit or profane, helping the recipient to avoid potentially objectionable material.[3]

NSS – meaning Not School-Safe or Not School-Suitable. Used in school network emails to indicate that the content may be sexually explicit or profane, helping the recipient to avoid potentially objectionable material.

NT – meaning No Text. Also written as N/T or n/t. Used when the entire content of the email is contained in the subject and the body remains empty.

NWR – meaning Not Work Related. Used in corporate emails to indicate that the content is not related to business and therefore that the recipient can ignore it if desired.

NWS – meaning Not Work-Safe or Not Work-Suitable. Used in corporate emails to indicate that the content may be sexually explicit or profane, helping the recipient to avoid potentially objectionable material.

NYR-NBD – meaning Need Your Response - Next Business Day. Meaning requires a response before the end of the next working day.

NYR – meaning Need Your Response. Meaning requires a response.

NYRQ – meaning Need Your Response Quick. Meaning requires an immediate response.

NYRT – meaning Need Your Response Today. Meaning requires a response this working day.

OoO – meaning Out of Office. Used in corporate emails to indicate that the sender will not be at work.

OT: – off topic. Used within an email thread to indicate that this particular reply is about a different topic than the rest of the thread, in order to avoid accusations of threadjacking.

PFA – meaning Please Find the Attachment. Used in corporate emails to indicate that a document or set of documents is attached for the reference.

PNFO – meaning Probably Not For the Office. Used in corporate emails to indicate that the content may be sexually explicit or profane, helping the recipient to avoid potentially objectionable material.

PNSFW – meaning Probably Not Safe For Work or Possibly Not Safe For Work. Used in corporate emails to indicate that the content may be sexually explicit or profane, helping the recipient to avoid potentially objectionable material.

PYR – meaning Per Your Request. The recipient is informed that the sender is replying to a previous email in which she was given a task.

QUE – meaning Question. The recipient is informed that the sender wants an answer to this e-mail.

RB – meaning Reply By. Used with a time indicator to inform the recipient that the sender needs a reply within a certain deadline, e.g. RB+7 meaning Reply By one week (7 days).

RLB – meaning Read later. Used when sending personal or informational email to a business email address. Immediate response not required.

RR – meaning Reply Requested or Reply Required. The recipient is informed that he should reply to this email.

RSVP – meaning Reply Requested, please, from the French Répondez s’il vous plaît. The recipient is informed that he should reply to this email. Often used for replies (accept/decline) to invitations.

RTFM – read the “friendly” manual

SFW – meaning Safe For Work. Used in corporate emails to indicate that although the subject or content may look as if it is sexually explicit or profane, it is in fact not.

SIM – meaning Subject Is Message. Used when the entire content of the email is contained in the subject and the body remains empty. This saves the recipient’s time because she then does not have to open the email.

SSIA – meaning Subject Says It All. Used when the entire content of the email is contained in the subject and the body remains empty. This saves the recipient’s time because she then does not have to open the email. A [1] at the start of the subject line, meaning “one-liner”, means the same. Also EOM, above.

TBF – meaning (1) To be Forwarded. Used in some corporate emails to request that the email receiver should forward the mail to some one else. It also has the more common meaning (2) To be Frank/Fair. Usually only used in the email body.

TLTR – meaning Too Long to read. Used in some corporate emails to request that the email sender re-writes the email body shorter

TSFW – meaning Technically Safe For Work or Totally Safe For Work. Used in corporate emails to indicate that although the subject or content may look as if it is sexually explicit or profane, it is in fact not.

TTYL – talk to you later.

UDA – meaning URGENT DOCUMENT ATTACHED.

VSRE – meaning Very Short Reply Expected.

WAS: – the subject was changed. Not an abbreviation, but the word “was” (past tense of “be”). Also written as “Was: “ and “was: “. It indicates that the subject has changed since the previous email, e.g., “Do you know a good babysitter? (WAS: What should we do this weekend?)“. This prevents confusion on the part of the recipient and avoids accusations of threadjacking.

WFH – meaning Working From Home. Used in corporate emails to indicate that the referenced person is working from a remote location, usually a home office.

Y/N – meaning Yes/No. The recipient is informed that he should reply to this email with a simple yes or no answer, increasing the likelihood for the sender of getting a quick response.

And on the very end I want to add quote from Gen. Mad Dog Mattis:

„Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

PS: the best from mad dog.