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It's good to talk!

Ever sent a nasty email about somebody to that same somebody? Ever misinterpret the tone of an email to the extent that you fall out with the sender, or send an email that is similarly misconstrued? The simple fact is that we don't know how to use email, argue David Shipley and Will Schwalbe, in their new book Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home. It is not a place to dump a girlfriend, to get angry with someone or to sack a colleague, yet it is often used thus. Meanwhile, young people need to understand that bashing out "yo teach" emails to the very people who will write their references is hardly a great advert.

To take the heat and emotion out their construction, the authors suggest some pretty common sense approaches when writing emails, one of which is use of the trusty exclamation mark. Thereafter, "good work" cannot be mistaken for a sarcastic remark. It is what it is - "Good work!"

Another, more obvious tactic is to ditch the email, pick up the phone or walk round the corner to the person you wanted to talk to. People tend to be nicer to other's faces.

Too little, too late

The court of revolutionaries