January 27, 2004

You are on the invidual archive page of Sickness. Click Simon World weblog for the main page.

This doubles as a Word of the Day entry. There is a new sickness that I am seeing growing and catching. It is impossible to cure. It can cause all sorts of changes. It can affect one for life.

Email rage.

Just like it's road-based cousin, email rage is growing. It stems from two main sources:
1. Spam
2. Stupid people
There is some overlap between these two areas. Spam is obvious in its increasing of frustrations, forcing people to hit their delete keys for an hour at the start of each day. However the second category is the main one I wish to deal with today.

Stupid people are everywhere. Road rage occurs because someone in a car is doing something stupid in their car/truck/bus/bicycle/scooter/golf buggy. It causes a rise in anger, unspeakable frustration, uncontrollable wrath. Yet it is usually fruitless, because the object of this rage is oblivious to the ill-feeling being directed their way. This creates a cycle of stupidity and rage that inevitably ends in violence or hair pulling.

Email rage is the same. It usually starts with a mis-understanding or error on the part of one person. It is always on an email that has 47 people copied on it, because law number 17 of email says to copy anyone remotely relevant to the topic, in order to "cover one's backside". Next there is the reply from someone pointing out the error or misunderstanding. This usually happens because people only skim read emails at best. Then the next reply is dashed off without proof-reading or thinking. Then the exclamtion marks start. A sure sign of rising email rage is the appearance of !!!! at the end of the sentence. Next it is ALL IN CAPITALS. The killer is the "combo", where it is ALL IN CAPITALS AND FOLLOWED BY !!!! It can go on like this indefinitely which serves to increase everyone's rage, even those only peripherally involved in the original discussion. Eventually the problem is solved and everyone goes back to deleting their Spam.

You've been warned.

posted by Simon on 01.27.04 at 10:10 AM in the


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