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September 14, 2006

"E-mail's ambiguity has special implications for minorities and women, because it tends to feed the preconceptions of a recipient. "You sign your e-mail with a name that people can use to make inferences about your ethnicity," says Epley. A misspelling in a black colleague's e-mail may be seen as ignorance, whereas a similar error by a white colleague might be excused as a typo."

I myself have been in situations where it gets confusing to understand people over the internet. I've found myself being offeneded or thinking someone was mad at me because the one of their IM seemed mean when maybe they were just being sarcastic. People have also read my wrongly too. I've come to say "it's hard tp pick up via the internet," when someone doesn't get what i mean. I've even received emails form certain professors where I feel like they were being a little sarcastic when they probably weren't.
Emotion and the internet are two things i don't think work together. Yes we have smileys and emoticons and things like that, but emotion through a machine wil never work. I mean when i read the bit about minorites being perceived wrongly, i thought it was rediculous. If someone signs their name as johnson how would you know if they were black or hispanic or white? im sure my online teacher thinks i am white girl because she has never seen me and my last name isn't that "ethnic." I do not think in todays society either that a person with an ethnic name really gets that offened over a misspelling of it. People misspell white individuals names all the time. All in all, the lack of emotion in email is not the end of the world, it is just another example of how the internet has taken over a little bit more of society.

Posted by RachelPrichard at September 14, 2006 2:25 PM


The people who get so easily offended are usually believe they are at a disadvantage because of their ethniticity. A lot of people really don't care if you misspell their name, unless they are into analyzing every little detail of online writing. I definitely agree that emotions are very hard to convey over the Internet, too.

Posted by: KatieWalker at September 14, 2006 6:46 PM

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