Why don't college students know how to use email?

Posted:
in AppleOutsider edited January 2014
So I get this email today that says "here's my assignment." No greeting (Dear Professor BRussell, Hi BRussell, Mr. BRussell, Dr. BRussell, BRussell, etc.) no name (just the absurd [email protected] email address), no class, and I can't open the attachment. It must be Wordperfect or MS Publisher or some other crap like that.



I get probably a dozen like this every semester. Why do people lose their minds when emailing their professors? Do they think their name appears automatically in email? I just really want to understand the mentality that would allow someone to click "send" without putting any relevant information in an email.



And how should I respond to this person? I'm thinking of sending the "Get a brain moran" picture.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    Sorry about that.



    I'll resend it in word format...
  • Reply 2 of 47
    yamayama Posts: 427member
    Bounce the message.



    It'll give them a nice little fright to get a "message could not be delivered" response. For extra effect, you could bounce it a few hours before the deadline for when it's due.



    A bit of blind panic will teach them to behave better in the future
  • Reply 3 of 47
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post


    Sorry about that.



    I'll resend it in word format...



    I shoulda known.
  • Reply 4 of 47
    I'll blame apathy.
  • Reply 5 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    So I get this email today that says "here's my assignment." No greeting (Dear Professor BRussell, Hi BRussell, Mr. BRussell, Dr. BRussell, BRussell, etc.) no name (just the absurd [email protected] email address), no class, and I can't open the attachment. It must be Wordperfect or MS Publisher or some other crap like that.



    I get probably a dozen like this every semester. Why do people lose their minds when emailing their professors? Do they think their name appears automatically in email? I just really want to understand the mentality that would allow someone to click "send" without putting any relevant information in an email.



    And how should I respond to this person? I'm thinking of sending the "Get a brain moran" picture.



    Our students never grew up in a culture that ever came anywhere close to writing letters, and so the conventions that fogies like us bring to email simply never applied to them. The conventions for them are markedly different than they are for us (I read an article somewhere about how they use texting versus IM...IIRC, texting was almost exclusively about conveying information?where to meet for lunch, etc?that didn't require a response). For us, email is a formal business much more like a letter; for them, it's no different than a text.



    When you get an email that says something like this



    HEY PROFESSOR MIDWINTER I MISSED CLASS TODAY BECAUSE I COULDN'T FIND MY SHOES AND THEN MY CAR WOULDN'T START AND I NEEDED A PERSONAL DAY DID WE DO ANYTHING IMPORTANT IN CLASS KTHXBYE LOL



    from [email protected]



    Just respond with this:



    http://mleddy.blogspot.com/2005/01/h...professor.html
  • Reply 6 of 47
    shawnjshawnj Posts: 6,656member
    We get docked "professionalism points" in legal methods classes for unprofessionally written emails.



    But in most other classes, I just mirror the professor's style. If they don't write a greeting (Shawn, Mr. J, etc) then I typically don't either.
  • Reply 7 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post


    We get docked "professionalism points" in legal methods classes for unprofessionally written emails.



    But in most other classes, I just mirror the professor's style. If they don't write a greeting (Shawn, Mr. J, etc) then I typically don't either.



    They probably think you're uppity for doing that.
  • Reply 8 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwinter View Post


    They probably think you're uppity for doing that.



    or black.



    (sorry folks, but Georgia Reps have a nasty habit of enraging me... fortunately, I am not from THAT southern state...)
  • Reply 9 of 47
    shawnjshawnj Posts: 6,656member
    Come to think of it, do professors ever write a greeting to their students?



    Most professors' responses that I can think of are practically "instant messages" in style and form themselves.



    They're usually coherent and don't abbreviate words though.
  • Reply 10 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post


    or black.



    (sorry folks, but Georgia Reps have a nasty habit of enraging me... fortunately, I am not from THAT southern state...)



    I guess I should explain that I only ever use "uppity" to refer to fairly well-off white males from Scranton.
  • Reply 11 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post


    Come to think of it, do professors ever write a greeting to their students?



    Most professors' responses that I can think of are practically "instant messages" in style and form themselves.



    They're usually coherent and don't abbreviate words though.



    My email to students is always formal, unless I know the student very well *and* we are engaged in a multi-email exchange.
  • Reply 12 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwinter View Post


    ...unless I know the student very well *and* we are engaged in a multi-email exchange.



    *and* if the student is a girl...
  • Reply 13 of 47
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post


    *and* if the student is a girl...



    ba dum dum!
  • Reply 14 of 47
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post


    Come to think of it, do professors ever write a greeting to their students?



    Most professors' responses that I can think of are practically "instant messages" in style and form themselves.



    Indeed.

    Quote:



    It's simply a matter of common sense. An email should contain the information necessary for the exchange.



    However, insisting on or expecting a greeting is lame unless there is a reason, such as when emailing an account shared by multiple individuals and the email is intended for one of them. Also, more often than not, "thanks" emails are annoying and a waste of everyone's time. Anyway, all of this is email 101 shit.
  • Reply 15 of 47
    shawnjshawnj Posts: 6,656member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post


    *and* if the student is a girl...



    Zing!
  • Reply 16 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwinter View Post


    Our students never grew up in a culture that ever came anywhere close to writing letters, and so the conventions that fogies like us bring to email simply never applied to them. The conventions for them are markedly different than they are for us (I read an article somewhere about how they use texting versus IM...IIRC, texting was almost exclusively about conveying information?where to meet for lunch, etc?that didn't require a response). For us, email is a formal business much more like a letter; for them, it's no different than a text.



    When you get an email that says something like this



    HEY PROFESSOR MIDWINTER I MISSED CLASS TODAY BECAUSE I COULDN'T FIND MY SHOES AND THEN MY CAR WOULDN'T START AND I NEEDED A PERSONAL DAY DID WE DO ANYTHING IMPORTANT IN CLASS KTHXBYE LOL



    from [email protected]



    Just respond with this:



    http://mleddy.blogspot.com/2005/01/h...professor.html



    I guess it's like texting, but don't these people email too? Is email really so old-fashioned that people don't understand that you have to sign your name if you want someone to do something for you? I haven't written too many letters in my life, but I "sign" my friggin emails, even if they're to family or close friends.



    And I love that web link. It almost seems ridiculously condescending to have to use it, but apparently it's necessary for a significant minority of people.
  • Reply 17 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post


    Come to think of it, do professors ever write a greeting to their students?



    Most professors' responses that I can think of are practically "instant messages" in style and form themselves.



    They're usually coherent and don't abbreviate words though.



    That's probably true, but I guess I'm concerned less with etiquette and more with just common sense: If you want something that requires your name, YOU USE YOUR FRICKIN NAME!



    I've talked to real hard-ass professors who say they won't accept email from students' non-university accounts. Every student gets a university account, so they shouldn't use their [email protected] accounts. That seems a little ridiculous to me.
  • Reply 18 of 47
    Toughguy29???



  • Reply 19 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post


    Toughguy29???







    That really IS you, isn't it?
  • Reply 20 of 47
    No...



    I'm too young to be Toughguy29. I'm only Toughguy24.
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