10 Email Pet Peeves That Grind Our Gears


To whom it may concern,

I have not the time nor the energy to Google your title in order to find out what your name is. So I simply include this initial formality in order to attract your attention and make me seem a little more eloquent than I actually am.

I am in fact about to spam you with useless information, completely irrelevant to your Monday morning - your life in general really, and I am unapologetic about this. Because this is my job.

If you don't reply to this email, I'll probably write again - on this very thread. Because I'm a pest, and I think you do have the time to reply to me. And even if you don't, I really don't care.

It's unfortunate that 90% of the emails we receive go something along these lines, and we could sit here all day and remonstrate about how annoying the phrase "just circling back" is, or how unnecessary we deem the "quick follow ups" on a Friday evening. But we won't. We'll let everyone else do the talking.

Below are ten of our favorite pet peeves sent in to us by the masses, enjoy.

Amy Poehler. Photo courtesy of Vulture

“Is your message really that important?”
- by Helen Zuman, writer

Biggest email pet peeve: When someone sends a message marked "high importance" (with a red exclamation point). Sometimes the exclamation point sends the message to my junk folder; other times it just sits in my inbox, annoying me.

“Oh hey, friend, why doesn’t your unsubscribe button work?”
- by Ksenia Newton, marketing manager

My number one biggest pet peeve is the inability to unsubscribe! There are two scenarios that tick me off: 1. The Unsubscribe link is nonexistent or so hard to find within an email that I have to use CTRL+ F in order to find it. 2. The unsubscription path is too long and too complicated. For example, I get an email and click on the unsubscribe link that takes me to a new window that's asking me to LOG IN to update my subscription preferences. I never signed up in the first place - SPAM.

“I’m too Lazy to Spell Your Name Correctly”
- by Shea Drake, tech & business writer

My number one pet peeve is when people misspell my name. It's technically RaShea, and I thought going by Shea might prevent so many misspellings, but no. I still get "Shae" or "Shay" all the time. The spelling is literally in front of someone!!

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

“My gender identity is important”
- by Sydney Liu, CEO of Commaful

I often get emails saying "Ms. Liu" because my first name is "Sydney". I usually politely correct the sender, mentioning that I'm actually a guy.

“Answer my damn questions, plural”
- by Brenda Jones

I hate when you email someone and you ask 4 specific questions.....and they only answer 1 back.

“The - be my friend for 3 days - mass email”
- by Dan Nainan, comedian

Do you ever get these? A mass email from someone who is visiting, say from LA to here in New York and sends out a mass email that they're going to be here. Okay, so if you're too lazy to email me individually, then I have no desire to see you. I just press "delete".

“Please, don’t continue our two-year-old thread. Send a new email”
- by Jacob Paulsen, online marketing consultant

When people find an old email conversation and hit reply but address an entirely new topic that is in no way related to the old email thread or the subject line which is now being reused. This is generally done when people are incapable of using their address book and only know how to find someone's email address by searching through old emails and then again incapable of editing the subject line before hitting send.

“Don’t manipulate me via CC”
- by Dr. Tammy Lenski, mediator and author

The tweaking CC is the copying of an email message to someone the sender believes has power over or influence on the recipient. In conflict at work, for instance, the sender may CC a supervisor or colleague -- or worse, a large chunk of the workplace community. They do it in the name of keeping that other person in the loop, but most of the time it's a thinly veiled way to strong-arm, rattle, or inform on. The tweaking CC raises defensiveness and can escalate tensions quickly.

“I bet you say that to all the Stacys”
- by Stacy Harris, publisher

I hate "personalized" email list blasts that go something like this:

"Dear Stacy:

I hope this email finds you well..."

I'm sure the readers of Stacy's Music Row Report will enjoy...

The sender never gives any reason why my readers will enjoy whatever is being pitched but the rest of this generic "pitch" usually follows this bit of false intimacy, from someone I've never met and with whom I've never initiated contact, yet suggests an interest in "my" well-being, courtesy of mail merge.

“The Reply or Reply All conundrum - get it right”
- by Susan Stalte, nutrition consultant

My top email pet peeve is when a person doesn't respond by choosing "reply all!" It shows a lack of attention to detail. Nothing that I would ever mention to a person, but it just requires more work if I've realized that someone was left out of the email chain at one point in the discussion.


A Modern Day Witch Hunt: How Caster Semenya's Gender Became A Hot Topic In The Media

Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.

Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.

That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.

Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.

Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.

Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.

With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.

The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.

Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.

As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.

Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.