Electronic Mail and The Written Word

Electronic Mail and The Written Word

Length: 1205 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Electronic Mail and The Written Word


Imagine a world without cyber culture technology. Picture using telegrams, typewriters, and payphones to connect to the world, sending all correspondence through mail, and leaving messages on home answering machines. At one time, these outdated items were the wave of the future. Mark Twain couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the typewriter. Why aren’t these technical advances not good enough anymore? Why have these ways of communicating become historical artifacts? Most of one’s answer lies in the fact that people are constantly looking for faster, more convenient ways to achieve their goals, and cyber culture does just that. Tools such as e-mail provide one with a way to write and communicate with others in a very convenient way.

The world we live in is very fast paced. Tasks such as hand writing and mailing letters have become too time consuming. As Dennis Baron writes in his essay “From Pencils to Pixels”, “…the physical effort of handwriting, crossing out, revising, cutting and pasting, in short, the writing practices I had been engaged in regularly since the age of four, now seemed to overwhelm and constrict me, and I longed for the flexibility of digitized text” (Tribble and Trubek 36). Besides the troubles of writing a letter, one would then have to stamp and seal the envelope, and rely on the trusty post office to deliver your letter in a timely manner. As essayist Adam Gopnik states, “Ten years ago, even the most literate of us wrote maybe half a dozen letters a year” (181). Ten years ago, one would have more than likely picked up the phone rather than sit down and write a letter.

E-mail, in a way, has digitized the letter. It has created a way where people can conveniently correspond daily. One can e-mail a friend in California, a professor at Eastern, a grandparent in Florida, and a spouse at work all in a matter of minutes. E-mail, in some cases, is the only way people communicate with each other. For example, I have just recently within the past year come into contact again with my best friend from elementary school. Since she travels frequently to other countries for her job, it would be very difficult to keep in touch with her via letters and phone calls.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Electronic Mail and The Written Word." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Apr 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=25544>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Pros and Cons of E-mail Essay

- “E-mail, used by more than 7 million college students, is easier, quicker, and more spontaneous than regular mail.” (“College-to-Home E-mail”) Although electronic mail has made it possible for college students to keep in contact quickly and easily with friends and family, it can become impersonal and cause misunderstandings. When the internet brought electronic mail, otherwise known as e-mail, into our homes, our lives from then on have forever been changed. E-mail is mail sent over the computer online through an e-mail carrier such as America Online, Hotmail, or Yahoo....   [tags: Pro Con Essays]

Free Essays
1598 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on The Word Processor

- The Word Processor The purpose of this assignment is to explore the many ways in which “cyberculture” has changed the way we think of writing and writers. It stems from a unit that is focused on the many ways that writing technology as well as reading technology has been altered with the addition of cyberculture to our previously basic ways of life concerning reading and composition. Using readings from Tribble and Trubek’s Writing Material, several articles were used to investigate this topic....   [tags: Technology Writing Essays]

Free Essays
1627 words (4.6 pages)

E-mail Protocol Essay

- As we enter the age of computer technology, more and more people are relying on the computer for communication. The main medium of computer communication is e-mail. When using e-mail there are some basic unwritten rules that one should follow. E-mail protocol, better known as netiquette, is the list of rules that are generally followed. None of these have officially been written down in a book, but they are commonly suggested by business professionals dealing with e-mail and the Internet. No matter how simple you might think something is to understand, someone else might not see the same thing as you(AWatch Your Netiquette)....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Free Essays
708 words (2 pages)

Review of U-TURN Electronic Cigarrette by Vapage Essay

- ... I filled up the head tank with ‘555 Tobacco’ flavor e-juice, adjusted the voltage to 4.2, and gave the U-TURN battery its’ first test, taking a long and smooth drag, my eyes lit up as if I’d experienced heaven on earth. You can feel your mouth and lungs filling with a delicious water vapor and when exhaled, doesn’t leave any painful or harsh feeling in your throat and lungs, but a sweet, delicious flavor on your tongue that keeps you coming back for more. Another great aspect about the U-TURN is that a clumsy person, like me, can be quite careless with it and still have a great working piece....   [tags: durability, cost, brand]

Research Papers
803 words (2.3 pages)

Business Writing on Electronic Signature Technology Essay

- Business Writing on Electronic Signature Technology During our February 3 meeting, upper level management expressed concerns about not being able to deal with customer accounts online. We discussed some of the problems they encounter when trying to process transactions online. We agreed some changes needed to be made and that new technology needs to be researched for our online business transactions. The use of electronic signatures was at the top of our list. Many of our competitors have already built-in e-signature verification within their systems for online business and for handling their financial records....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1683 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on The History Of Email

- The History of Email Email is the biggest evolutionary advance in communication in modern history. Ever since the internet first started, the way we communicate with each other changed. Instead of sitting down and writing a letter with pen and paper, we type it on the computer and send it via the internet and the receiver sees it when they sign online. Instead of calling someone on the phone, we can talk to them directly online via instant messaging, as if we were on the phone. But there are problems with emailing and instant messaging such as junk email and kids using the shortcuts they use online in their school papers....   [tags: Internet Email E-Mail]

Research Papers
1670 words (4.8 pages)

Personal Voice Or An Electronic Mail? Essay

- E-mails work faster than telephones, but was there not a time when telephones were faster and quicker than any other mode of communication. We live in an evolving world where things change every now and then and new technologies and inventions keep coming up every now and then. Why is it that we always want what is the fastest mode in everything that we do. Even if we do communication is something that is of vital importance whether the world globalizes or not but in a world like tody communication plays a vital role and at this pace its importance would grow exponentially in the future....   [tags: email, mail, telephone]

Research Papers
574 words (1.6 pages)

Essay on Electronic Mail (e-mail)

- Electronic Mail (e-mail) Electronic Mail, a means of communication that is growing at a very rapid rate. In this paper, I will write about introduction of e-mail, the advantage and disadvantage of e-mail, mailing lists, sending an e-mail message, sending attachments, e-mail improvement, and security features. Introduction of Electronic Mail Electronic mail (E-mail) has become popular and easy way of communication in this decade. E-mail is a method of sending and receiving document or message from one person to another....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
514 words (1.5 pages)

Essay on First Class Mail Guidelines

- The following first class mail guideslines were designed to reach these goals. Guidelines for handling other classes of mail and using special services begin on p.28. A postal rate chart apears in Appendix D (blue pages). 1. Key envolope addresses in block style, using uppercase letters and omitting punctuation (except for hyphens). 2. Place the address block about four inches from the left edge and two inches from the top edge of a No.10 envelope, or use the default setting of the Evelope feature on the word processing software....   [tags: first class, mail, guidelines,]

Research Papers
565 words (1.6 pages)

Essay on e-mail and electronic mail

- The Hacker It was a lonely Saturday night. The wind was howling through the branches of the old oak tree outside my window. The branches swayed back and forth, creating faint tapping and screeching sounds on the glass. And so, I sat… It was a night like any other; my music playing in the background and the room was illuminated only by the changing shades of green from my lava lamp. I waited. Suddenly, a came from the system unit of my computer, signalling that it was ready. I sat in my big leather chair, leant forward, and logged on....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1185 words (3.4 pages)

Related Searches

However, e-mail has allowed us to stay in touch.

Although e-mail has changed the way people communicate, there are still similarities between this new medium and the past ways of writing. Gopnik compares the effectiveness of e-mail to print:

The new appeal of e-mail is the old appeal of print. Written language gives you a hat and a Groucho nose and glasses; it’s you there, but not quite you. E-mail has succeeded brilliantly for the same reason…what we actually want from our exchanges is the minimum human contact commensurate with the need to contact with other people. (181)

As Gopnik points out, written language is just another way two people can communicate without physically seeing each other. E-mail provides the same service, while increasing the speed and convenience of the written word.

Dennis Baron stated, “Writing lacks such tonal cues of the human voice as pitch and stress, not to mention the physical cues that accompany face to face communication” (41). Although this is true, e-mail has given the writer a unique way to express himself without the need for handwriting or verbal assistance. Symbols such as the happy and sad faces give the reader a sense of what the writer is feeling. Also, abbreviations such as lol (laugh out loud) tell something about the writer’s mood at that present time. Usage of font can express a loud tone or subtle tone; bold and underline can be used to demonstrate intimidation and importance. In the essay “The Conversion”, Wendy Lesser tells of her struggle to accept e-mail as an adequate form of writing. She talks of the first time she realized her friend’s personal style still existed in his electronic text:

To my enormous pleasure, …the electronic mode did not wash out his characteristic tones. On the contrary, he sounded in his virtual incarnation exactly as he did in real life: wry, observant, dryly affectionate, subtle sharp. Personal style, it turned out, did not get blotted out by the machine. (230)

Baron also states that in order for a new writing technology to gain acceptance, it must find a way to be authenticated (41). Authenticity relates to something that can be verified, something genuine. A personal handwritten letter is authentic. It comes directly from the author’s pen to the paper. Most letters include a signature, maintaining the author’s claim to the piece of work. E-mail works in a similar way. Although it is not handwritten, email comes from an individual’s personal e-mail account, one that requires a password and verifiable address to enter. The person’s name sending the information via e-mail is always apparent at the top of the screen, and an e-mail address is given, providing the reader with a mechanism to contact the writer directly. Neither the personal letter or e-mail correspondence is fool proof, though. Anyone can pretend to be another, whether it’s forging signatures or hacking into other’s accounts. Authenticity is a tricky subject, and unless the information is coming out of an individual’s mouth, one should always be aware of the possibility of fraud, whether it’s electronic or handwritten.

Cyber culture has invaded our lives like a tidal wave—so powerful it can’t be stopped. Yet, a tool such as e-mail is so valuable, one might not remember what life was like without it. I remember when calculators and spell check were looked down upon. Now, these technical advances are required in most classrooms. E-mail has already made that transition. For example, a student at Eastern Michigan University cannot register for classes unless she has a working e-mail account. In two of my classes this year, e-mail is a must—teachers are now using this device to track student’s participation in the reading material and discussions. Instead of physically handing in papers, many students have opted to send teacher’s e-mail with attachments. Teachers are now requesting that their students use e-mail to contact them, rather than call on the phone. As you can see, the academic world has, without a doubt, taken advantage of the new medium we call electronic mail.

Although e-mail looks and feels quite different than the written word, the elements and the positive aspects are all still present. However, e-mail has now given us a faster, more convenient way to contact people across the world. And if you think it ends here, think again. Just as we have done with telegrams, typewriters, and payphones, someday we will look at e-mail as a thing of the past—something that takes way too much time and effort for this fast-paced world.


Works Cited

Tribble, Evelyn B., and Anne Trubek. Writing Material. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc., 1966.

Baron, Dennis. “From Pencils to Pixels.” Writing Material. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc., 1966. 35-52.

Gopnick, Adam. “The Return of the Word.” Writing Material. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc., 1966. 180-182

Lesser, Wendy. “The Conversion”. Writing Material. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc., 1966. 227-233.
Return to 123HelpMe.com