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January 06, 2005

EOM: A Convention for Email, "End of Message"

At the Law and Econ Lunch, Leandra Lederman (who by the way has just accepted a permanent job as a tax prof at Indiana's Law School) said that one annoyance at George Mason Law, where she's been, is that people would send out congratulatory emails to the whole faculty on things like publications and honors and then half the faculty would feel the need to send "Me too!" emails to everyone.

The Wall Street Journal said December 30 that a custom has started some places of putting EOM at the end of messages to indicate that no reply is needed (though of course you can reply if you see a reason to other than politeness). The convention is confusingly used other ways, as indicated below, but it seems useful

Introduce your workplace to EOM , shorthand for "end of message." Slapping these three letters onto the end of an e-mail message is a signal to the recipient that the exchange is complete and he or she doesn't need to send a reply.

Usage of EOM has evolved. Traditionally, it has been employed on the subject line to indicate that the entire message is contained there, saving the recipient from having to click to open the message only to find nothing in it.

Techtarget.com says
EOM stands for "end of message."

People who exchange a great deal of e-mail sometimes write a very short message in the subject line of an e-mail note and conclude it with: (EOM). This is a little faster to send and saves the receiver from having to take the time to open the note, since the entire message is visible in the subject line. The "(EOM)" is a signal that the message is wholly contained in the subject line.

I think both uses can co-exist. If you see EOM in the subject line, you know not to bother opening the message, which will be blank. If you see EOM at the end of the body of a message, you will have already read the message anyway, and you will know not to send an acknowledgement to the sender.

The EOM convention is good, so I hope blog pass the word on it. EOM EOM EOM EOM EOM EOM EOM

Posted by erasmuse at January 6, 2005 02:05 PM

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