15 Annoying E-mail Habits That Are Specific To Your Generation

"'Reply all' to every group email. Stop the insanity!"
F.J. Jimenez via Getty Images

Earlier this month, Jodie Foster revealed what irks her most about working with younger people.

Besides the fluctuating start times (“They’re like, ‘Nah, I’m not feeling it today, I’m gonna come in at 10:30am,’” she said), Foster, 61, said she doesn’t understand Gen Z’s overly-relaxed email style.

“In emails, I’ll tell them this is all grammatically incorrect, did you not check your spelling? And they’re like, ’Why would I do that, isn’t that kind of limiting?’” the “True Detective: Night Country” actor told The Guardian.

Online, Foster’s comments got people of all ages talking about the generation-specific email habits that bug them the most. Our readers had thoughts, too. Below, the most annoying email habits, according to Gen Z, Gen X, Millennials and Boomers.


“The older generation uses ellipses (...) at the end of sentences without realising that it completely changes the tone. An ‘OK’ means ‘OK/agreeable,’ while ‘OK...’ reads like “umm...sure, I guess, idiot.’ Don’t get me started on coworkers who message you ‘hi’ and nothing else.” — Jordan Davis, a sketch comedian

Using too many question marks or exclamation points

“One email habit I’ve noticed mainly from Boomers is when they don’t understand or want to emphasise something, they often use multiple question marks or exclamation points. It just ends up coming across angry, even if that wasn’t the intention.” ― Jarrod Benson, a sketch comedian

Multiple question marks and exclamation points "just ends up coming across angry, even if that wasn’t the intention," said sketch comedian Jarrod Benson.
MirageC via Getty Images
Multiple question marks and exclamation points "just ends up coming across angry, even if that wasn’t the intention," said sketch comedian Jarrod Benson.

Not following up

“By and large, young people seem to think that by sending an email the job is done! Not checking to see if the email is received or understood [is] like throwing a spear and assuming it will find its target.” ― Pat Pattison, TV host and star of “Pat Pattison’s Best of California”

Overly long emails

“Long emails get to me. Make it snappy! Spend time to condense your email into two or three sentences otherwise there’s no way I have time to read all that. If you’re new to the corporate world then it’s OK, as I remember spending hours trying to craft the perfect email, but if you’re a millennial or above then get to the point fast and quit the yapping.” — Adam/@MrBrotein, a sketch comedian

“What I find the most with millennials, are the replies that are so long-winded with a lot of excess details that now I forgot what my initial ask was! Just get to the point already!” ― Janet Gunn, lifestyle influencer at The Grateful Gardenia

Random line breaks

“I had a Boomer co-worker who did a line break in the middle of sentence because it ‘looked too long’ and still did the double space after a period. I wouldn’t have minded except that she would get mad if you didn’t write back her way.” ― Angelique Z.

Writing a full email with caps lock on

“Across the board, unnecessary caps lock.” ― Jessica I.

An email in all caps lock just comes across as angry.
The-Tor via Getty Images
An email in all caps lock just comes across as angry.

Not spell checking

“The younger they are, the less they proofread anything. It only takes a moment and you catch many accidental errors. I’m not perfect but I consider grammar and spelling to be important.” ― Jan P.

Replying all when it’s really not necessary

“Boomers will ‘reply all’ to every group email. Stop the insanity!!” ― Kimberly W.

Using read receipts

“Having read receipts on for every email you send. No, I’m not reading that useless email that you find so very important.” ― Sarah A.

Excessive use of slang

“Using slang or abbreviations like it’s a text between friends.” ― Colleen K.

Not understanding the function of the subject line

“My boomer coworker types the email in the subject line. The whole email.” ― Immitay I.

The subject line shouldn't be the whole email.
Epoxydude via Getty Images
The subject line shouldn't be the whole email.

Overuse of acronyms

“What gets me is when someone uses acronyms in emails. I have to stop reading, copy the word and then go and Google what it means.” ― Cathy Williamson, blogger at The Middle Page Blog

Calling immediately after sending an email

“Boomers will send emails, then call two minutes later: I’ve sent you an email.” ― Svea J.

No signatures

“One of my pet peeves is when people don’t sign their emails or provide a title or affiliation if they do provide a first name. It’s so casual as if I know them already when this is the first time they are corresponding with me.” ― Judy Freedman, blogger at A Boomer’s Life After 50

Not sending emails at all

“I’ve noticed that Gen Zers aren’t fond of using email; in fact, they tell me ‘email is over’ and lean toward FaceTime and texting. Texting... OK, but now I have to find my glasses and my phone! Take it from me, if you’re over 50, you’re not so interested in a FaceTime call at 9 a.m. unless it’s from your Gen Zer son!” ― Freedman

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