Monday, June 30, 2008


Mitch Wand pointed me to this article by an email veteran bemoaning what has become of the medium. Obviously, I concur.

One annoying type of message that continues to throw me off my game is those brief “okay” and “thank you” messages, especially from staff. I've been getting increasingly good at anticipating these and affixing NNTR or NN2R to my preceding message. Amazingly, both the former and the latter are indexed in Web dictionaries, which makes me wonder why people don't use them more. [That's “No Need To Reply”, natch, not a Myers-Briggs indicator, though it might as well be.]

Anyway, I do, and I encourage you to as well.

Meanwhile, you ask, what do you do? I'm afraid I still send those replies to staff members, because I think it's just basic etiquette (though many a misplaced good intention has been born there...). I'd like to ask them someday whether they'd be offended if I stopped doing this and instead used that old classic from the days of Usenet: TIA (that's “Thanks in Advance”, for you wee ones).


Guillaume Marceau said...

Have you ever considered using Dragon NaturallySpeaking? I have two friends who report typing speeds of 100 to 200 words a minute with Dragon. If you have a decent CPU, decently fast hard drive, clear diction and no accent, it's really fast.

This post on a Getting Things Done productivity blog talks about how fast dragon can be, especially when combined with it a tablet pc.

Shriram Krishnamurthi said...

Guillaume, I think this entirely misses the point. For one thing, I can already type at 80-90 WPM. But the real issue is that doubling the amount of email I can send isn't going to solve any problems -- rather, it's going to make the problem twice as worse. Notice that nowhere did I list “I can't type fast enough to keep up” as one of my problems.

Korinthe said...

I tend to thank people at the end of the email request, but I still send a Thanks email if the request was made in person or on the phone. Not too annoyed to receive Thanks emails, but I don't get the volume that you do.

As for the teaser you threw out there -- what IS your MBTI? :)


Shriram Krishnamurthi said...

PS: Guillaume: I doubt your friends average 100-200 wpm all the time. Max speed during a typing test is about as useful as reporting the mileage of a car when coasting downhill with the foot off the gas pedal.

Shriram Krishnamurthi said...

Curran: No idea. I find that each time I take these tests I come out with different outcomes. That's because I find myself in the middle of the road on most responses. If I have a personality type, it's probably ADD. (-:

Guillaume Marceau said...

The first guy's score is pretty stable across a number of trials. He documents his methodology, so so it's possible to interpret the quality of the numbers. Indeed, it is like a mileage test, there is variability both in the test, and in the phenomena being measured.

The other guy's, I don't know how good his numbers are.

I'm terrible, btw. I get no more than 50 wpm.

I'll admit that one of the reason I mentioned Dragon is that I'm curious to see if you could hit the 200 wpm mark too. You do have impeccable diction and a fast cpu.