When I teach writing courses to business professionals, I often get asked questions about the “rules” for writing e-mails. These students want to communicate professionally, which is why they are in my classes, and this includes how they present themselves and deliver their content in e-mails.
In response to the question about e-mail “rules,” I answer that I don’t know of any. What I do offer, however, are guidelines for business and personal letters, modified for the e-mail format. These guidelines follow two basic principles.
1. Business e-mails and personal e-mails serve different purposes.
2. Business e-mails are formal correspondences.
With these two principles in mind, here are 6 guidelines for writing e-mail.
When I awoke this morning, rain was falling. During mid-morning, the rain was still falling. I just looked out my window, and, sure enough, the rain has not yet stopped.
So, here’s the question. How does the rain fall? Has the rain been falling continually or continuously? Continually and continuously have different meanings. Which word is right?
Continuously means occurring without pause or break. This morning, the rain has been falling continuously. It hasn’t stopped falling during the time described, i.e., this day. At no time during this day has the rain stopped falling. It started, and it continued. If rain doesn’t stop (at least during a specific time period), it is falling continuously.