Send: The Essential Guide to Email

Janet Malcolm in the New York Review of Books:

EmailHow many of us have—among other self-immolations—badmouthed someone in an email, only to make the fatal mis-click that sends the email to the very person we have betrayed? And what can we do to repair the damage? Anything?

“The email era has made necessary a special type of apology,” Shipley and Schwalbe write,

the kind you have to make when you are the bonehead who fired off a ridiculously intemperate email or who accidentally sent an email to the person you were covertly trashing. In situations like these, our first inclination is to apologize via the medium that got us into so much trouble in the first place. Resist this inclination.

Instead, go see the person or telephone him, for “the graver the email sin, the more the email apology trivializes it.” “Just because we have email we shouldn’t use it for everything,” Shipley and Schwalbe write, introducing a notion that younger readers may find too radical to take seriously.

More here.