Email Etiquette: Are Acronyms, Memes, and Emojis Appropriate in Work Messages?

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You should avoid using acronyms, emojis, memes, GIFs, and all-caps in your work emails if you want to come across as serious, intelligent, trustworthy, and professional to your co-workers, according to recent research from Fundera.

The report was based on data from a survey of 1,000 adults in the United States.

Respondents were asked to rank the appropriateness of various content types in work emails on a 1 (very inappropriate) to 5 (very appropriate) scale.

American adults rated acronyms, emojis, memes, GIFs, and all-caps as generally inappropriate in work emails.

Messages written in all capital letters were rated as the most inappropriate (1.5 average score); GIFs are deemed as the next most inappropriate (1.8), followed by memes (1.9), emojis (2.1), and acronyms (2.1).


Asked to compare the use of memes, emojis, and acronyms in work emails, respondents said memes are the content type that makes the author seem least serious, intelligent, trustworthy, and professional.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 1,000 adults in the United States. Respondents were asked to rank the appropriateness of various content types in work emails on a 1 (very inappropriate) to 5 (very appropriate) scale.

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