Please Explain: E-mail and Online Etiquette

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lizzie Post and Anna Post (great-great granddaughters of Emily Post) explain the ins and outs, the rules and pointers of communicating by e-mail and online. They are co-authors of the 18th edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette.


Lizzie Post and Anna Post

Comments [27]

Jonah from Brooklyn

The waste should not be produced, but if it is it should be recycled at home in 3d printers.

Feb. 09 2012 01:12 PM
judy from Pittsford, NY

Regarding standing in line - my inappropriate comment is the following:
I don't get in line behind very old people - not because they are slow - but because they so often challenge the price and will hold up the line forever to fight about the price.

Dec. 12 2011 01:50 PM
Maggie from Nj

Can there be any kind of clean up effort. By govts for example or is it too big now.

Nov. 03 2011 12:35 PM
wildblueberries from Kearny, NJ

I wonder if it necessary to start every other listener phoning in to a radio talk show to start the conversation with "thank you for taking my call."

Oct. 21 2011 03:07 PM
Amy from Manhattan

On whether to join an ongoing conversation, sometimes you can wave to get the attention of the people speaking. And you can always ask, "Is this a private conversation?"

Oct. 21 2011 01:53 PM
Ken from UWS

Should callers to the Leonard Lopate Show begin with, "Hi, how are you?" ;>)

Oct. 21 2011 01:51 PM
jillydg from Upper West Side

Hey Ladies! Is it true that your great great grandmother owned the building the Dublin House still resides in?

Oct. 21 2011 01:49 PM

One thing about the Eton Radio. You've got to keep it near a light source -- window or lamp -- at all times so that the battery will be fully charged when you need it. If you store it in a closet or dark corner (i.e. out of the way), when you take it out during a black out, it won't be there for you. It seems like a d'uh but I doubt many would think about it.

Oct. 21 2011 01:48 PM
Lucy from CT

Just got a new iPhone and while I like "Suri" the new audio assistant, I feel very rude when I just turn her on and request something without greeting her with a "hello" first. But if I say "hello" she gets confused.

Oct. 21 2011 01:45 PM
Rebecca from Manhattan

I find call waiting to be hurtful and rude when someone says to me "Hold on" without asking if it's OK if I can. Isn't that an impolite way for handling the situation?

Oct. 21 2011 01:45 PM
laura from brooklyn

Could you please answer the first two questions I asked? Thank you for answering my third. I almost didn't thank you due to time issues, but given the topic , I should be polite. Proper etiquette is time consuming!

Oct. 21 2011 01:45 PM
Claire from Flushing, Queens

Thank you for addressing this timeless topic. My question is: Has saying "You're welcome" gone out of style? I notice this particularly when a host thanks a guest for an interview on a radio show. Rarely does the guest say, "You're welcome." It's usually something like "Thank you, I'm glad to be here".

Oct. 21 2011 01:39 PM


Please ask the Post sister, when it comes to replying to emails.

How long after sending/receiving an email (to someone with a romantic interest) is it appropriate to reply?

Oct. 21 2011 01:35 PM

certain buzz words,seem to activate the knee jerk reptilian instinct, in too many people! i feel, for your interpersonal relationships....good grief...

Oct. 21 2011 01:34 PM
Sheldon from Crown Heights

As an immigrant approaching middle age, I now understand, why American baby-boomers insist being called by their first name- instead of the more traditional salutation and Surname. The latter, as respectful as it is, makes one feel so old.

Oct. 21 2011 01:34 PM

great question from the previous segment: who makes that Eton radio and where is it assembled????

Oct. 21 2011 01:33 PM
laura from brooklyn!

What is the appropriate lag time when responding to email and texts? Does every digital communication warrant a response? And what is the polite way to handle someone who seems to engage in a text conversation, with frequent brief texts?

Oct. 21 2011 01:32 PM

if you don't communicate well, how is anything going to work? i'm not defending fartsy highbrow culture. you are completely missing the point,by contextualizing this discusion, around a hard core political construct.

Oct. 21 2011 01:30 PM
David from Nassau county

For techno geeks enclosing text email messages in HTML-type tags provide some nuance, e.g., yadda yadda yadda or one I have used defensively, blah blah blah

Oct. 21 2011 01:28 PM
gene from NYC

Here's what I do when someone's shouting on their cell:

I listen carefully, going, Oh, please give me something I can use--a phone number, a business name, a contact, something so I can call them up tomorrow and say, "Bob, I know all about the Barringer deal, and you know why? Because your employee George DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO TALK ON A CELL PHONE IN PUBLIC!"

I've actually gotten that info twice, but when I got a good look at the offender, I felt so sorry for them, they were so obviously hapless jerks, I didn't do it.

Oct. 21 2011 01:26 PM
John Bradley from sunnyside queens

Is there a situation where the sisters disagree on how to handle it?

Oct. 21 2011 01:25 PM

@hgibson2 i think there is the "etiquette" of civil engagement. that is, what's being discussed here. even good progressive revolutionaries,need to engage in civil, and, intelligible discourse.

Oct. 21 2011 01:23 PM
crez from nj

Think again,ladies. The problem is not so much "awareness" as the type of total self absorbtion that is so sad about many public displays and interactions we now witness. And Lenny, c'mon,be upfront and let the listeners know you KNOW proper etiquette and are just trying to remind much of your audience!

Oct. 21 2011 01:22 PM
Sheldon from Crown Heights

Indeed hg - well said.

I hate when a client sends me an email/text without even saying "hi,hey,hello"

Oct. 21 2011 01:21 PM
Connie from nj

Leonard, it was very polite of you not to mention that 'conveniency' is archaic usage; 'convenience' is correct.

Oct. 21 2011 01:20 PM

it's important to cut people slack,especially if there is a history of good will. it's so easy to be miffed, over something written in an email. there is no vocal inflection,no body language. there is very little ability, to emphasize, or diminish;meaning and nuance. email, is mechanical and cold. could somebody invent something to make this any better,i wonder.

Oct. 21 2011 01:17 PM

Wasn't most etiquette created to keep people "in their place" where you have to submit to people who were "greater" than you? What kind of place does that have in our society? Etiquette excludes people from lower social classes, forcing them to conform or not be accepted. I think being polite and kind is very necessary in our society, but rules of etiquette are out of place.

Oct. 21 2011 01:14 PM

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