Email Fails That Trigger You Daily at Work

Emails are the most popular way to contact people because of smartphones and computers nowadays. But, there are times when people tend to write their emails in such a way that will get its recipients annoyed.

Besides bad grammar, poor spelling and disappearing punctuations, check out the usual email fails that often trigger you daily when you get one.

Oh yes, if your coworker is sitting next to you, please just pop over to talk to him instead of sending emails.

“Pls advice” (Please assist to advice)

What you are trying to say: You (the recipient) know more about the topic, please offer some suggestions.

What you actually said: Please assist to suggestion

What can you use: Please advise

The word “Advice” is actually a noun that refers to the “suggestion” provided. However, “advise” is the correct word to use when referring to suggesting information.

Using the word “pls” is also unprofessional if it is used in a formal email. Always spell the word in full to get your point across.

“Nice to e-meet you”

What you are trying to say: I am happy to meet you through email.

What you actually said: I am just reiterating the fact we’re talking online.

What can you use: “It is a pleasure to be working with you” or “Nice to meet you.”

“FYNA pls” (for your necessary action/notion and action please)

What you are trying to say: Take note of the information and act on it because you may not have read my emails completely.

What you actually said: I don’t trust you to work on your own so here I am getting involved.

What can you use: If your email is easy to understand, people will definitely take action. If you use acronyms just to shorten the email, it may not be understood by your recipient and caused problems. Some may not even recognize the acronym you just used.

“Just to touch base with you”

What you are trying to say: Just to inform you about this topic

What you actually said: I want to take you out and reach all the bases.

What can you use: Just to follow up

“Highly noted”

What you are trying to say: I got the information you sent.

What you actually said: The note is now in a high place.

What can you use: You can use phrases like “Got it” or “Thanks for the information.”

Inconsistent formatting

What you are trying to say: There are various points in this email that you need to be aware of but they are all important so read it.

What you actually said: I am bored so I used my time to edit this to get you to reply to this. While some say it is good to do this, it is not proven to be helpful but it’s fun doing it.

What can you use: Keep your emails straight to the point, especially if it is for something important. Having a brief email will make it easy for your readers to get the information you want them to know.

Marking messages urgent/important

What you are trying to say: I need a reply ASAP

What you actually said: I want answers now, pay attention because I have no time to wait.

What can you use: If a task really requires that email, it is ok to mark the email as urgent. But, if you only need to use it when it is important. If you are just following up something or just want to say hello, don’t use the “urgent” marker on it. If you want an answer to those inquiries, just call your recipient or send them a text.


Emails are very important, especially for business or work purposes. It must be written in such a way that is easy to understand and not frustrate people.

With these tips above, I hope you will be able to correct your email writing skills and inspire others to check their email writing skills too.

What else have you notice about email etiquette that irks you? Share with us in the comments below.

For tips to be productive at work so you can knock off on time, here are some articles you should read:
6 Apps that increase Your Productivity
Being Productive @ Work: What Are The 5 Time Wasting Things You Do At Your Desk
Work Hacks that will Save You Time

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24 Comments Add yours

  1. Newtan says:

    I send weekly emails and now I think I can improve more. Thanks kally for sharing these useful points.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kally says:

      You’re most welcome! Have an awesome weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gregoryno6 says:

    Funny you should mention emails. I had an interview yesterday and I had an email related story to tell if the occasion arose.
    You always get a question about communication. My story was about the best lesson I ever got in communication. I got it from a person who couldn’t communicate.
    She joined the company to run the online store, and I was the warehouse/store room operator. She never came in to the office, always worked from home. And her emails were incomprehensible.
    Seriously, she might have been tapping at the keys with her eyes closed. Pure gibberish.
    Every time she sent me an email I had to call her at home and ask for a plain English translation. And English was her first language. It’s not like she was struggling with a non-native tongue.
    I endured this for a couple of weeks and then I took the issue to the office manager. I don’t recall the exact outcome; I think the OM might have arranged to get the emails herself.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kally says:

      Oh dear, how frustrating it must be to work with her. I wonder if she realize it herself. Hmm.. thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gregoryno6 says:

        I don’t she had a clue about the difficulty she created. When I spoke to her on the phone I got this little hint on her voice of ‘Well, I know what I’m saying!’

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Kally says:

          Ah stubborn and arrogant are two things that prevent us from learning from our mistakes.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Abirbhav says:

    Hilarious..!! But quite relatable nonetheless..
    Thank you Madam for sharing.. 🙂
    I have come across the following “e-irritants” from my personal experience:
    – “Revert” or “Revert back” instead of using “respond”
    – FYNA as you pointed out
    – Confusion between “advice” and “advise”
    – Using e-mail communication as an SMS (i.e., using wrong short hand words like “pls”)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kally says:

      I always confused with my advice and advise. Haha. I’m glad to be able to tickled you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Abirbhav says:

        Thank you Madam for taking out the time to “revert” to my comment

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Kally says:

          Haha. Good one.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Brian says:

    “Please advise” is the term I use to but the ball in their court, rather than me offer the solution. However, if someone uses it with me I would consider if in fact they need to put some options forward.

    I also find it a challenge at times, similar to SMS messages, where it would be better to phone the person, such as when arranging an appointment – discussion via e-mail and SMS is a slow process. I treat e-mail as an alternative to sending a letter; it might arrive instantly but I’ll not likely deal with it that quickly.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Kally says:

      Same here. I do get confused with the advice and advise. Especially when I’m sending email in a hurry.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What I don’t like is when someone sends a ‘Round Robin’ email to all and sundry. Quite often Nurse/Managers would include top executives in an email they’d sent to a member of staff regarding poor performance or attendance records. Do they really think that the Finance Director or the Chief Executive needs or even wants to know about all the trivial incidents?

    Especially when there was an HR department.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kally says:

      Oh yes, I do find it irritating too. Especially it is a small matter and cc the whole world.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Once again WISDOM shared.!

    A much needed advice post; thanks Kally

    God Bless,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Judy Kim says:

    This one is so funny, “ ‘Just to touch base with you’
    What you are trying to say: Just to inform you about this topic
    What you actually said: I want to take you out and reach all the bases. 😄❣️
    What can you use: Just to follow up” 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kally says:

      Hahahahaha… your reply is too funny, Judy. Thanks for bringing me laughter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Judy Kim says:

        You’re welcome, Kally 😊

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Great post, Kally! Funny if it were not so…tragic.

    Pet peeves all, though my nemesis is more stylistic, namely, people who bury the lead twenty-seven paragraphs into the email, causing you to waste half an hour trying to determine just what it is they want. Good Lord, people, state your purpose, then you can spend the next three hours explaining, justifying and arguing.

    Oh, and red exclamation points (“High Priority”) – the best thing to do is to reply with a downward blue arrow (“Low Priority”) attached to the response.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kally says:

      Oh I hate it when the emails are full of CAPS and underlines and different colors. The emails turns into a drawing of a kindergartner.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sending emails makes me so anxious! I tend to fret and obsess over even the tiniest word, so often I just talk with people in person if possible. Any tips on how to improve email communication is much appreciated!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kally says:

      One quick improvement is to get a colleague to vet important emails (non confidential) for you before you send it out. Sometimes it takes another eye to spot the mistakes. It’s a win win situation if you offer to vet his emails as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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