Fier Thy Words

Just another weblog

Everyone Stop With the Crazy E-mail Signatures


by Scott Spinelli

Honestly, my fingers are too fat to text.

Call me Scottward Sausagehands, if you like.

Nowadays, there isn’t much space for freaks like me. Most of my friends are wizards with texting. I’m sure you’re familiar with the telephone, that old thing that people used to speak to each other on. Why call, when you can text? I know people that text while the phone is in their pocket, while simultaneously keeping their eyes closed so as to attract style points from the Russian judge. Me, I’m barely up to a rate of four texts an hour.Though, as was the case with other new forms of technology upon their popularization, there are newly found etiquettes that come attached to each. Texting, e-mails, instant messaging. Even the ol’ Facebook has its rules.

For instance, nobody leaves a signature after they’re done writing a text. Could you imagine that?

What time is the game?

-Jason’s cell

Why then, do people feel the need to sign off on Facebook messages? As if the bolded name on top of the message wasn’t enough, the large picture should do the trick. You could get a driver’s license with that many forms of ID.

More than that, what bothers me is e-mail signatures and the silliness that ensues when someone is done writing. Apparently, some people just aren’t satisfied with the creative latitude afforded by either Facebook or texting.

My absolute favorite are those people either too lazy or too important (or both) to put anything more than three lower case letters as their signature.

From: Me

To: You

Be there, or be square.


At what point did these people (by people, I am almost exclusively referring to professors), become too big time to sign either their whole name, or at least give us the dignity of a capital rendition of their initials. Probably around the same time they purchased their Blackberry.

The worst are those lengthy signatures that include everything you could ever want, or dream to know about the person. Name, date of birth, place of birth, social security number, siblings in college, favorite quote, GPA and complete address.

From now on, I’m going to use my own signature, one I’ve devised in light of their frequent appearance of e-mail signatures.

Scott Spinelli

Italian-American, Eastern European

Favorite Pre-Internet President: James K. Polk

Favorite Tori Spelling Show: 90210

“Ain’t nothin’ but a gangsta party” – Tupac Amaru Shakur

Maybe I’m too much of a Negative Norman, but why do people think that anyone cares?

The first time I saw one of those, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Initially, I thought it was a checklist, as if was supposed to see if I knew those things about the person, and then report back to them.

I saw one that said “Americans for Informed Democracy” under the name. No italics, no underlines, no quotes. Just the phrase, as if that person is the only one that stands for democracy. Signatures should be what they are everywhere else – a cursive version of your name, not a biography.

Of course, when the Pony Express speed of e-mail won’t suffice, there’s only one alternative: instant messaging. I struggle with IMing because my deadliest tool, sarcasm, is shot right in the foot. Though, I must say, often times, when typing an instant message, I feel like the world’s fastest typists. I’ve often felt that if there was some sort of Olympic competition to see who could most quickly communicate their thoughts on the day via instant message, I’d have to at least represent our country, if not the hemisphere.

My major issue with IMing, which I’m 100 percent guilty of, is the ever incessant need to correct typos.

A little while back, I messaged someone, “I’ll be, bathroom.” Almost instantaneously, I felt the need to make sure that person knew I meant, “I’ll be back, bathroom.” As if, the person on the other screen is looking at that, thinking, “He’ll be bathroom?! He’ll be bathroom?! What the hell does that mean? He had better correct himself soon, or I’m going over to make sure he’s all right.”

My ultimate hope is that someday, in the near future, we’ll be able to just do away with talking face to face or even via phone. Maybe you could even donate your vocal boxes to people that can’t afford iPhones. Who knows what the futur holds?

*future holds, my bad.

Scott Spinelli’s humor column appears in the Daily Orange every Thursday. You can reach him at He wants to know why people don’t celebrate Columbus Day like they do St. Patty’s Day.


March 20, 2008 - Posted by | Spinelli

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