Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Simple Etiquette

I'm in snob mode again but it still astounds me how so many people do not know the most basic rules of social etiquette or even communication. I'll get emails from students (if you write like this, then yes, I'm definitely antagonizing you and vice versa) that sound like the following.

"yo i dont know how to get to the site."

Now granted I'm not a full fledged professor yet but even as a human being much less a TA I feel like there can be some politeness injected into that rather pithy and inane remark.

Allow me to turn you, my gentle reader, into the witless object of my ire.

1) "yo"? Is that any form of greeting in written communication? I'll give you a hint: the answer rhymes with "yo." A simple "hi" would do.

2) I don't want to sound like Ms. Truss here but my GOD use at least SOME punctuation or capitalization. You're writing to a higher authority so it wouldn't hurt to at least say, if you insist, "Yo. I don't know how to get to the site."

3) Being vague is kinda sorta not good or whatever. "the site," for all I know, could be and I know you know how to get there. No? Just type in "" into your browser address bar.

4) You don't know how to get midget porn. OK, everybody knows how to get midget porn but let's just suppose for a minute that you were a little slow to get on the train. Of hot midget porn. You tell me this fact, which is completely irrelevant to my life, and expect what? Midget Porn? If you want to ask for something, why not try "Could you tell me...?" or "Please tell me...". Saying "I don't know..." leaving it at that is like a child yelling "I've pooped in my pants!" and nobody wants to touch that.

5) Who are you? Why should I help you find "the site" that has been plastered all over the syllabus and on the board of every class for the last 3 weeks? Are you some pervert in my class? In that case you've come to the right place, but couldn't you tell me? Wouldn't it have been so much easier to just write:

"Hi. Could you tell me how to get hot midget porn? --Bob from your Midget Porn class"

I am the TA. I am here to serve you, the student, but I am not your servant. You shouldn't treat your servants like that either. What kind of position would you put them in, asking them for hot midget porn?