Thursday, September 19, 2013

More Pet Peeves

Since I confessed one of my pet peeves earlier this week, I thought you might be interested in a few others.

For me, the first example, which I've reproduced below, really hits home. I wish I'd saved more of my students' email over the years because I think international students have it doubly hard when trying to hit the right tone with written correspondence. Email can range from being overly formal, using archaic and, therefore, incomprehensible language to trying to fit in to American culture and, thus, reminiscent of the example below, but with the addition of cutesy emoticons.

I'd like to teach a course / write an article on legal correspondence that begins with writing to admissions offices pre-application and goes through the client letter post-hire. But enough of that.

On to Professors' Pet Peeves by Lisa Wade, PhD:

I got this email from a Yale student when I arrived to give a speech. She was responsible for making sure that I was delivered to my hotel and knew where to go the next day:
Omg you’re here! Ahh i need to get my shit together now lol. Jk. Give me a ring when u can/want, my cell is [redacted]. I have class until 1230 but then im free! i will let the teacher she u will be there, shes a darling. Perhaps ill come to the end of the talk and meet you there after. Between the faculty lunch and your talk, we can chat! ill take make sure the rooms are all ready for u. See ya!
To say the least, this did not make me feel confident that my visit would go smoothly.
I will use this poor student to kick off this year’s list of Professors’ Pet Peeves.  I reached out to my network and collected some things that really get on instructors’ nerves.  Here are the results: some of the “don’ts” for how to interact with your professor or teaching assistant.  For what it’s worth, #2 was by far the most common complaint.
1. Don’t use unprofessional correspondence.
Your instructors are not your friends. Correspond with them as if you’re in a workplace, because you are. We’re not saying that you can’t ever write like this, but you do need to demonstrate that you know when such communication is and isn’t appropriate.  You don’t wear pajamas to a job interview, right? Same thing.
Peeves continue here:

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps I spoke to soon! I need not teach a course on proper email correspondence after all. There's an app for that!