Good E-Mail Practices Will Help to Avoid ‘Smoking Gun' E-Mails
E-mail has become the preferred method of communication in most business settings and has developed a vocabulary and syntax all its own. E-mail is a remarkably easy and efficient mode of communication. However, because e-mail is less formal, thoughts are often conveyed absent the care, discernment, and social governors that regularly accompany face-to-face communication and formal correspondence. As a result, the phenomenon of the ‘‘smoking gun'' e-mail has emerged. The smoking gun e-mail reads like a water cooler conversation; it is unfiltered and rife with offhand and ill-considered remarks. Such banter, memorialized in black and white, divorced from textual and temporal context, can become incendiary to individuals, companies, and organizations.