E-mails have been a dominant form of communication throughout business, academic settings, and information sharing since its invention in 1971 (Bellis 1). The idea behind an email was the ability to send short, important messages to a computer other than the computer in use at that moment (Bellis 1). Although seemingly simple at the time, the idea bloomed into something so large it is a driver in today’s society. Interestingly enough, the first E-mail ever sent according to the article “History of Email & Ray Tomlinson,” by Mary Bellis was actually sent to an adjacent computer containing the sequence of characters “QWERTYUIOP” (Bellis 1). E-mails are used in wide verity of situations, each requiring unique formatting and specified information. Every type of E-mail includes a greeting and a closing statement with some containing signatures and files. The specifics of these depend on the formality and familiarity of the recipient. With little change in the concept of an email itself, the way an email is composed has changed greatly with time and with social circumstance.
Formal communication that occurs nearly instantaneous while retaining a high level of respect has become a luxury that many take for granted every day. Before E-mails and internet the most formal communication between two people was from ink and paper. Writing a letter showed that the time was taken to show appreciation and respect to the recipient. Unfortunately, letters either had to be hand delivered or sent in the mail. Either option-required time before a response worth receiving became possible. Formal E-mail communication can occur between but not limited to student and professor, employee and employer, or two people of equivalent status who have not met in person. E-mail offered a solution to expedite the process while maintaining some of the formality.
Although E-mails fail to meet the upmost formality, with a certain characteristics and structure, an acceptable level is achieved. All formal letters contains a main header of “Dear Recipient,” or “Dr. Recipient,”. Being short and simple, it opens the E-mail with a respectful tone. Content within the E-mail is subjective and ranges from questions formal requests to informative statements. Formal E-mails close with a personal touch in such cases and the name of sender. Below the closing remarks lies the personal signature of the sender if the sender so choses.
Since all communication by E-mail needs not to be formal, there must be a structure for informal communication. Informal communication generally takes place amongst peers and family members. Reason for this type of sub-genre of text is for quick communication that could easily take place in a rapid manner in person. A greeting in this form is not necessary but usually consists of a simple “hi” or “hello”. Appearing in nearly all E-mails of this type is a quick summarized statement describing what this E-mail is about. An example of this ranges from “ see ya at noon”...