Everyone wants to write better emails that people will respond to. Perhaps you’re having trouble communicating effectively with your colleagues in the corporate sector, or you just want to brush up on your email etiquette.
You may be startled to learn that email has its own set of jargon. If you’re not accustomed to them, opening an email full of “EOD”s and “LMK”s can send you on a lengthy journey to Google merely to interpret a message – even if you’re familiar with other computer jargon.
Don’t worry, we’re here to assist you. Here’s a comprehensive collection of email acronyms to help you understand what they all signify. Using them to develop appealing subject lines can enhance your own communications after you’ve mastered them!
1. OOO (Out of Office)
Let’s start with something simple. When you respond to an email with OOO, it signifies you are not at work. Perhaps you’re on vacation for a week and simply checking email on occasion. This acronym informs individuals that they should not anticipate a prompt answer. It is often used as an automated responder.
“I’ll be out of commission until Friday, August 25. Please address any inquiries to Mark Simmons.”
2. WFH (Working From Home)
This one, like OoO, informs people that you are working remotely for the day. It’s handy if you’re asked to accomplish anything that necessitates your presence on-site.
“Today on WFH. Instead, our meeting in room 24B will be held on Wednesday.”
3. EOM (End of Message)
Here’s a time-saving tip. People won’t spend time opening your message if the complete message fits in the subject line. As a result, finishing your header with EOM enables individuals to read the topic, act if necessary, then delete the mail.
“Sam informed us that we may go forward with this idea. EOM”
4. PRB (Please Reply By)
We’ve all met folks who take an eternity to reply to emails. If you’re sending a message and require everyone’s response by a specific time, use a PRB date to seek a quick response.
“I’m looking for volunteers for the charity event this weekend. Thursday, August 24th, PRB”
5. NRN (No Reply Necessary)
Have you ever been chugging away at work only to be interrupted by an email notification? When you open it, you’ll discover a simple “Great, thanks!” This is a waste of time and email space. Including NRN in your topic informs readers that they are not required to react with a two-word response.
“We’re meeting in Room 5A instead of 4C. NRN”
6. NSFW (Not Safe for Work)
This is a typical shorthand used to signal that the material you are going to access is explicit. This usually relates to sexually explicit stuff or an overflow of profanity that you wouldn’t want your employees to see or hear aloud in the office. However, you should generally think twice about sending this kind of stuff over corporate email.
“[NSFW] Chris Rock’s new stand-up routine is nasty yet funny!”
7. SFW (Safe for Work)
SFW is obtained by flipping the above acronym on its head. When delivering a file or linking to anything that seems objectionable but isn’t, use this abbreviation.
“[SFW] The EarthPorn subreddit’s images make excellent desktop wallpaper!”
8. FYI (For Your Information)
You’ve certainly heard FYI in regular conversation, but depending on how you use it, it may have a few distinct meanings. It may imply a side idea when used in the body of an email. However, in the subject line of an email, it is normal to inform the recipient that you are sending this email just to provide the information contained therein and do not anticipate a response. When forwarding a message, this is usually utilized.
“Just a heads up: IT support will be updating everyone to Office 2016 next month.”
9. AR (Action Required)
It might be difficult to tell if an email requires action or is just for information. The AR acronym may assist with this. Use it to notify the recipient that you’ve assigned them a job to do. You’ll most likely elaborate on this in the email body.
“Frank was dissatisfied with his performance last month. AR: Make a record of our working hours.”
10. LET (Leaving Early Today)
Include this note in your subject line if you’re leaving sooner than normal. This informs people that you will be gone till the end of the day.
“Can’t help clean up after the presentation — LET”
11. EOD/COB (End of Day/Close of Business)
These are handy acronyms for providing a timeframe for when you intend to submit something (or when you need something done by). They are essentially interchangeable. As an added bonus, COB may be used to refer to work hours elsewhere, such as “I need this by COB Pacific Time.”
“I’ll have that spreadsheet to you by EOD.”
12. BTW (By the Way)
This is almost probably something you’ve said in casual conversation. BTW, it is possible to add an afterthought to an email message. If you fail to send any vital information and have to send another email straight after it, inserting BTW lets folks know it’s related to your previous message.
“By the way, I neglected to say that anybody eager to assist with this gets lunch on me.”
13. TLTR (Too Long to Read)
Nobody enjoys an email essay. Some people are too busy to spend 10 minutes reading through a sophisticated and long letter. You may use TLTR to politely inform someone that their communication is too lengthy and that you would like a summary.
“TLTR. I’d love to contribute, but I don’t have the time right now to absorb the whole message.”
14. TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)
This is a sibling of the previous acronym and is likewise quite popular on the internet. It’s typical to add a TL;DR section at the bottom of any large block of material, summarizing it in a few phrases or bullet points. People who don’t want to read the full email may just read the highlights. It’s not as frequent in a topic, but it might still work.
“The Rogers case has become a major issue. Do not bring it up again until we make a statement on Thursday. If you have any questions, please contact Dan.”
15. Y/N (Yes or No?)
When you pose a question in an email and seek an answer, you may prefer a simple yes or no. If you don’t want a long answer, state that a simple affirmative or negative response will suffice.
“Is the new internet restriction affecting your work? Y/N”
What Email Acronyms Do You Love?
These aren’t the only email acronyms, but they’re all variants on the core group. Knowing these will allow you to digest email faster and create more interesting emails when you’re the sender.
However, avoid using acronyms too often or in inappropriate contexts. A fast WFH to your closest buddy at work lets them know you’re working remotely, but responding to a vice president’s email with TLTR is definitely not a smart idea. Sometimes spelling out the whole sentence saves space and makes your email appear more professional.
If these abbreviations aren’t enough, look into universal email solutions to make your life simpler.
Which email abbreviations save you time and effort? Share your favorites with us in the comments section, along with any amusing email tales you may have!
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