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email inflection tags

Ever notice that it’s really easy to misinterpret someone’s intended tone of voice when you are reading an email from them? Your friend writes “Hey, haven’t seen you in a while, everything OK?” and you imagine it to be delivered in a miffed, snippy, guess-you-don’t-like-me-anymore tone when she actually meant to sound interested, concerned and friendly. Wouldn’t it be great to have inflection tags for email? Like this:

Spousal email* before inflection tags:

Hi honey, I’m going to be late today. How about you start dinner and I’ll grab some kind of dessert on the way home?

Dang it, you think, s/he’s weaseling out of making dinner again! But wait. Here’s the same email, after inflection tags are added:

<tone="happy" chirpy="+3">Hi honey, I’m going to be late today. How about you start dinner and I’ll grab some kind of dessert on the way home?</tone>

Ohh, you think. S/he’s in a good mood, just running a little late. Okay. Maybe s/he’ll bring home some chocolate!

Just think what a difference it could make.

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*This email is entirely fictitious. Any resemblance to any email sent by any person or persons, living or dead (can the dead send email?), is entirely coincidental.
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2 Comments

  1. Nemo says:

    Alternate interpretation: “Dang it, s/he’s weaseling out of making dinner again, and s/he’s Chirpy +3 about it!”

  2. ninmah says:

    @Nemo: LOL. Good point :-)