What Germans can teach us about email

Eric Weiner finds there are radical differences between American and European email. YMMV

bq. Amerimail is informal and chatty. It’s likely to begin with a breezy “Hi” and end with a “Bye.” The chances of Amerimail containing a smiley face or an “xoxo” are disturbingly high. …

bq. Euromail is stiff and cold, often beginning with a formal “Dear Mr. X” and ending with a brusque “Sincerely.” You won’t find any mention of kids or the weather or jellyfish in Euromail. It’s all business.

I can’t confirm the following statements: Americans tell you their life story before getting down to the point of the mail; Americans reply immediately, Europeans weeks later; email in America replaced the phone, in Europe the business letter.

Another thing: on German mailing lists and UseNet groups, it’s not regarded as ‘breezy’ just to write ‘Hi’ or ‘Eric’ – friendly greetings and considered closes are expected as of right (not so in Britain, but I have a feeling Britain is not part of the remit here).

Anyway, I see that the German executive quoted has the same surname as the person who helped with research, who in turn is involved in the company quoted.

I love the heading: ‘How they do it: lessons for the U.S. from abroad’.

(Thanks to kalebeulimail)

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