Recently, I received an email that I probably should not have opened at the office. I discussed the email in question with the sender, and informed them that the subject line should have included NSFW. Their reply was ‘what is NSFW?’, and ‘it didn’t offend me’. This brings us to this Solution for proper email etiquette. In a general sense of the term; this explains some common email acronyms that should be used.

NSFW: This informs the receiver that the email is Not Safe For Work! Best practice would be to include this in any email that contains: any audio, nudity or images that you wouldn’t want anyone else to see, also should be used for any inappropriate topics that could offend someone that happens to glance at your screen while you open it. If you don’t want to take the time to put the NSFW, your receiver probably would rather you take the time not to send the email instead.

RE: Usually this implies and is include when you hit the reply button and are replying to someone’s email. However, you could also include this when you are returning someone’s voice mail, letter, or any other correspondence through email. Note the RE is not an abbreviation but is latin for “in the matter of”.

TL;DR: Sometimes people get carried away with their emails, I’m horrible for this myself, and what was intended as a short question or inquiry turns into a page or two email. TL;DR means To Long Didn’t Read and can be used for that busy professional that just wants the ‘to the point information’ or can be a nice way to say – ya I got a little carried away and this is what I meant to say. This should be included with the main question or specific information beside it at the end of the email.

There are also the more common ones:

FW: Forwarded message also written as FWD. This means that the original message was not sent to you but a copy of email is being forwarded.
FYI: For your information or sometimes FYIP For your information please..
FYA: For your action, basically if you are emailing someone or a group of people you can bring focus to something that needs to be done.
WAS: This isn’t used too often, but if you want to change the subject line you should include the original subject in brackets and use this prefix.
OT: Off Topic

I’m sure there are many others, as well as general email etiquette; feel free to let us know in the comments.

TL;DR – Make sure to include NSFW for emails that are Not Safe For Work!

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