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The Mass Media

Tips and tricks to spice up your email life

 There are two types of people in the world: people who know how to write a good email, and people who don’t matter. Writing a good email is like deciding what to wear in the morning. There are a few rules you have to follow and omitting vital elements could prove fatal, but the gist is that everyone has their own unique style and flair. However, in the overly corporate cesspool that comprises modern life, personal flair has been thrown to the wayside under the guise of so-called professionalism. If we can’t express ourselves through email, then what are we? Nothing. This is why it’s so important to add a little spice to our email lives.

An email, like all things in this material plane of existence, is like a sandwich. You got a top, a bottom and some crap in between. The crap in between is the most important part, but it wouldn’t be anything without the context of its bread. You wouldn’t go to a restaurant and order a clump of crap, would you? A big clump of turkey, lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise rolled into a big ball on a plate? No! Nobody would do that because that isn’t a sandwich—it’s a big clump of crap. The same concept applies to emails. The crap is the information you’re sending. If it’s not placed within the context of the bread, it’s not a sandwich and you look like a chump.

What is the bread in an email sandwich you ask? To begin, the top slice is known as the salutation and as its name suggests, it’s for saying hello. Salutations are simple and a great place to add a little spice. Are you a “howdy partner” kind of person? Are you in a “yodiggity dog” kind of mood? Perhaps “my dearly beloved” would play right into your delusions of hopeless romanticism? Honestly, it doesn’t really matter what you put here as long as it screams “you.” What’s more important is getting the person’s name right that you’re emailing. If for whatever reason you don’t know their name, just kick things off with, “for an individual that requires no introduction.”

Now we come to the single most important element of the email, the closer. Here’s a pro tip: How you close out your message is way more important than what you say in the message itself. Do you want to look cool? Do you want to look sexy? Do you want them to think you’re a witty genius? A closer can make or break an email, so it’s important to come up with a good one. However, a closer can also be the origin of a lot of stress.

If you’re anything like me, the majority of time spent writing an email is spent on the closer.I’ll spend a few seconds banging out the message and then stare at the bottom of the draft for twenty minutes trying desperately to think of something to write. Of course, there’s a whole bunch of pre-stocked options for this kind of ordeal. You have “regards,” which is vague and completely devoid of any emotion. You have “sincerely,” which is kind of nice I guess, but do you really mean it? Probably not. I mean, the goal isn’t to care, it’s to look cool while pretending to. Then you have the notorious “best.”

I don’t know what the thing is about “best.” It’s so overused, yet it’s so utterly stupid. Don’t get me wrong, I use it every chance I get. I’m just saying, it doesn’t make any sense. Like, are you wishing me my best? My best what? Day? Life? Are you threatening me? Are you telling me that I’m the best? Are you saying that you’re the best? I mean, after all, you’re putting your own name right below it. It’s the kind of vague, robotic closer that we as a society have decided is acceptable as the bare minimum.

There’s nothing worse than getting an email from somebody that closes with “best.” I’m not trying to shame them for it, I’m just mad and jealous because now I can’t use it. You see, there’s no greater sin in the email world than stealing a closer. Once somebody “bests” you, it would be completely unacceptable to “best” them back. This is the advantage of sending the first email, as you get the first choice when it comes to the closer. Not everybody plays by this rule, but I’ll just let you know right now, nobody likes a dirty email thief.

Now I’m left searching for a new bare minimum, and I usually settle on something like “thank you” which is arguably even worse than “best.” What am I even thanking them for? Most of the time they’re not even doing anything for me, so it makes no sense. It comes off like I’m thanking them for taking time out of their day to simply acknowledge my existence as a human being. I mean, in a sad and deeply insecure kind of way, I guess I am.

I realize that by now, you might be seeing me as a bit of a hypocrite. Here I was talking about spice, and now I’m talking about my struggles to pick the best pre-packaged closer. You’reprobably thinking, “there’s nothing spicy about that,” and you’re right. The truth is, I’m not as spicy as I could be.

Spice can be intimidating. It can be scary. We live in a world today that encourages blandness, a world that rewards people for fitting into cookie-cutter molds. Maybe we feel safer knowing that we can coast by with little effort or originality. But even then, we lie in bed at night feeling stressed over things as trivial as racing to see who can use the best bare minimum closer in an email. The fact of the matter is that we could all stand to be a little spicier.

About the Contributor
Joe DiPersio, Humor Editor