Question of the Week

Etiquette Query: Will You Always Send an Email Before Picking Up the Phone?


We noticed a tweet from Above the Law blogger David Lat this week apologizing to a tipster:

“Sorry to the tipster who just called—I was a little curt—but you interrupted my lunch. Please email or text instead. Phone = Evil. —DL”

He followed it up with another tweet linking to a New York Times article from last month by author Pamela Paul about the telephone’s evolved status.

“Phone calls are rude. Intrusive. Awkward,” Paul wrote. And she noted in her article that even in offices, phones don’t ring like they used to.

Jonathan Burnham, senior vice president and publisher at HarperCollins told Paul: “Phone calls used to be everything: serious, light, heavy, funny. But now they tend to be things that are very focused. And almost everyone emails first and asks, ‘Is it OK if I call?’ ”

So this week, we’d like to ask you: Will you always send an email before picking up the phone? Do your clients have that mentality? And if you have noticed a shift away from the phone, how do you feel about it?

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: Has Social Media Tightened Your Writing Style?

Featured answer:

Posted by Kent Kluver: “I think most writing instructors have advocated for years use of the fewest possible words. Don’t give social media too much credit.”

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