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Friday, March 25, 2005

Euromail vs Amerimail

Another good piece in Slate about something of which I've been aware ever since my Euro kith and kin emerged from the mists of Esterbrook and vellum into a vague state of wiredness.

To quote:

"North America and Europe are two continents divided by a common technology: e-mail ... two distinct forms of e-mail have emerged: Euromail and Amerimail.

Amerimail is informal and chatty, likely to begin with a breezy "Hi" and end with a "Bye" ... Americans are reluctant to dive into the meat of an e-mail; Amerimail is a bundle of contradictions: rambling and yet direct; deferential, yet arrogant. In other words, Amerimail is America.

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. It's also slow. Your correspondent might take days, even weeks, to answer a message. Euromail is also less confrontational in tone, rarely filled with the overt nastiness that characterizes American e-mail disagreements."

Fun to read in full.

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