10 Email Pet Peeves That Grind Our Gears

10 Email Pet Peeves

That Grind Our Gears

To whom it may concern,

I have not the time nor the energy to Google your title in order to find out what your name is. So I simply include this initial formality in order to attract your attention and make me seem a little more eloquent than I actually am.

I am in fact about to spam you with useless information, completely irrelevant to your Monday morning – your life in general really, and I am unapologetic about this. Because this is my job.

If you don’t reply to this email, I’ll probably write again – on this very thread. Because I’m a pest, and I think you do have the time to reply to me. And even if you don’t, I really don’t care.

It’s unfortunate that 90% of the emails we receive go something along these lines, and we could sit here all day and remonstrate about how annoying the phrase “just circling back” is, or how unnecessary we deem the “quick follow ups” on a Friday evening. But we won’t. We’ll let everyone else do the talking.

Below are ten of our favorite pet peeves sent in to us by the masses, enjoy.

Amy Poehler. Photo courtesy of Vulture
“Is your message really that important?”
– by Helen Zuman, writer

Biggest email pet peeve: When someone sends a message marked “high importance” (with a red exclamation point). Sometimes the exclamation point sends the message to my junk folder; other times it just sits in my inbox, annoying me.

“Oh hey, friend, why doesn’t your unsubscribe button work?”
– by Ksenia Newton, marketing manager

My number one biggest pet peeve is the inability to unsubscribe! There are two scenarios that tick me off: 1. The Unsubscribe link is nonexistent or so hard to find within an email that I have to use CTRL+ F in order to find it. 2. The unsubscription path is too long and too complicated. For example, I get an email and click on the unsubscribe link that takes me to a new window that’s asking me to LOG IN to update my subscription preferences. I never signed up in the first place – SPAM.

“I’m too Lazy to Spell Your Name Correctly”
– by Shea Drake, tech & business writer

My number one pet peeve is when people misspell my name. It’s technically RaShea, and I thought going by Shea might prevent so many misspellings, but no. I still get “Shae” or “Shay” all the time. The spelling is literally in front of someone!!

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
“My gender identity is important”
– by Sydney Liu, CEO of Commaful

I often get emails saying “Ms. Liu” because my first name is “Sydney”. I usually politely correct the sender, mentioning that I’m actually a guy.

“Answer my damn questions, plural”
by Brenda Jones

I hate when you email someone and you ask 4 specific questions…..and they only answer 1 back.

“The – be my friend for 3 days – mass email”
– by Dan Nainan, comedian

Do you ever get these? A mass email from someone who is visiting, say from LA to here in New York and sends out a mass email that they’re going to be here. Okay, so if you’re too lazy to email me individually, then I have no desire to see you. I just press “delete”.

“Please, don’t continue our two-year-old thread. Send a new email”
– by Jacob Paulsen, online marketing consultant

When people find an old email conversation and hit reply but address an entirely new topic that is in no way related to the old email thread or the subject line which is now being reused. This is generally done when people are incapable of using their address book and only know how to find someone’s email address by searching through old emails and then again incapable of editing the subject line before hitting send.

“Don’t manipulate me via CC”
– by Dr. Tammy Lenski, mediator and author

The tweaking CC is the copying of an email message to someone the sender believes has power over or influence on the recipient. In conflict at work, for instance, the sender may CC a supervisor or colleague — or worse, a large chunk of the workplace community. They do it in the name of keeping that other person in the loop, but most of the time it’s a thinly veiled way to strong-arm, rattle, or inform on. The tweaking CC raises defensiveness and can escalate tensions quickly.

“I bet you say that to all the Stacys”
– by Stacy Harris, publisher

I hate “personalized” email list blasts that go something like this:

“Dear Stacy:

        I hope this email finds you well…”

        I’m sure the readers of Stacy’s Music Row Report will enjoy…

        The sender never gives any reason why my readers will enjoy whatever is being pitched but the rest of this generic “pitch”  usually follows this bit of false intimacy, from someone I’ve never met and with whom I’ve never initiated contact, yet suggests an interest in “my” well-being, courtesy of mail merge.

“The Reply or Reply All conundrum – get it right”
– by Susan Stalte, nutrition consultant

My top email pet peeve is when a person doesn’t respond by choosing “reply all!” It shows a lack of attention to detail. Nothing that I would ever mention to a person, but it just requires more work if I’ve realized that someone was left out of the email chain at one point in the discussion.

Amy Corcoran

Head of Content at SWAAY: Amy is an Irish writer, avid foodie and feminist with an insatiable appetite for novels and empowering women's writing. She has enjoyed calling Dublin, Paris and now New York her home.

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