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Using emoticons or acronyms

Should I use emoticons or acronyms when writing an email? 
The electronic convenience craze has created its own symbols in the form of emoticons, which are those ubiquitous faces, and other symbols such as TLA -- which means three-letter acronym, such as LOL, or "laugh out loud."

For professional communication, emoticons and TLAs are far too informal. Moreover, their use can create problems.

First, not every user knows what they are, so using them to convey style or mood could backfire. Second, making emoticons or TLAs part of your common writing repertoire may diminish your professional image and standing.

When you're communicating with friends, go for it. Otherwise, give your email the same professional touch you would use in a hard-copy letter on your company letterhead. 
Brain Trust contributor: Author of Managing Your E-Mail: Thinking Outside the In Box
Related Categories: Communication, Email, Telecommunications
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