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Most people reading this email, text, or email and text, multiple times each day. Whether it’s a quick text to your significant other explaining why you’ll be late home from work, or a lengthy email to a colleague complaining about their lack of cubicle etiquette, words are being flung from one phone, tablet, or computer to another at an alarming rate of knots.

It’s estimated that over 140 billion emails 7 Email Efficiency Tips To Get More Email Done, Faster 7 Email Efficiency Tips To Get More Email Done, Faster Life revolves around communication and literally nothing gets accomplished without it. Email is a communication tool meant to make your life easier. Instead of having to type up a letter or try to catch someone... Read More are sent each and every day, and literally trillions of text messages are sent every year. Then there are the countless other ways to contact people, including messaging apps such as BlackBerry Messenger BBM Still Has Fans! [We Ask You Results] BBM Still Has Fans! [We Ask You Results] Read More , Skype, and Whatsapp. This all adds up to an incalculable number of opportunities to mess up when communicating with others.

This Week’s Question…

We want to know, What’s The Most Embarrassing Email or Text You’ve Ever Sent? And, while their inclusion would have made the question too much of a mouthful, throw in updates on social networks How to Avoid Embarrassing Yourself on Social Media How to Avoid Embarrassing Yourself on Social Media Social media has the tendency to make us forget how public it is, so we end up sharing things we really shouldn't have. in this post I'm going to help you avoid those unnecessary embarrassments... Read More for good measure. We want to hear all of the juicy details of a miscommunication that led to embarrassment for you.

Perhaps you sent a text to the wrong person, telling your mother rather than your wife what you had planned for your forthcoming weekend away. Perhaps you clicked ‘Reply All’ to an email and inadvertently sent everyone in your address book the details of that aforementioned weekend away. Or perhaps a simple typo, which really do matter a great deal Why Typos Always Matter, Even Online & In Text Messages [Opinion] Why Typos Always Matter, Even Online & In Text Messages [Opinion] We all make mistakes from time to time. It's natural, a part of life, a learning curve which we use to better ourselves. Typos are no exception. They happen often, and if writing forms a... Read More , saw you offering someone a barbecue on your dick rather than your deck. It happens. The typo, I mean.

The more detail you provide the better. We want to know who you were sending the text, email, or update to, what it was meant to say and what it actually said, what their reaction was, and how you managed to explain away your error and apologize for it The Art Of The Apology: How To Say Sorry With An Email (And Mean It) The Art Of The Apology: How To Say Sorry With An Email (And Mean It) We all mess up, so asking for forgiveness is an important skill to have. Apology emails are not easy. Here’s how you say sorry with an email, whilst still being genuine. Read More . For our part we promise not to judge too harshly, though we cannot promise not to laugh a little at your misfortune.

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Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail the We Ask You Results. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights, the respect of other readers, and a T-shirt. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to the MakeUseOf readership. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Brandon Grasley

  1. Laura.A.
    November 17, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    It was my best friend’s wedding anniversary so I sent an e-mail to congratulate him. When I sent it I realized I had sent the e-mail to a friend of mine whose wife had died in a car accident a year ago. Both friends have the same name and I didn’t pay attention to the e-mail that appeared in the recipient field. My friend answered asking if it had been a macabre joke and he never talked to me again.

  2. vnrk
    November 15, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I had a dictionary plugin on my browser which gives the popup when a word is highlighted. Once i had to drop a mail to my team saying i was sick, somehow i had the word “fever” got highlighted and this time instead of a popup all the synonyms got pasted on top of the mail. It took time to understand as to what fever i was referring to from all the synonyms that got pasted.

    synonyms
    delirium, ecstasy, excitement, fervor, fire, flush, frenzy, heat, intensity, passion

    • Dave P
      November 17, 2013 at 4:32 am

      I guess it just looked like you were eager to explain just how sick you were!

  3. vnrk
    November 15, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I had a dictionary plugin on my browser which gives the popup when a word is highlighted. Once i had to drop a mail to my team saying i was sick, somehow i had the word "fever" got highlighted and this time instead of a popup all the synonyms got pasted on top of the mail. It to understand as to what fever i was from all the synonyms that got pasted.

  4. William B
    November 14, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Amazingly, considering my constant and consistent association with bad luck, I've never had the misfortune of having this happen to me. Go figure?

    • Dave P
      November 17, 2013 at 4:28 am

      You mean you check and double check stuff before clicking hit? You may not be lucky, but you are at least sensible :)

  5. Napoleon Bonaparte
    November 14, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    I wrote a complex PERL script that processed registration email addressed from a database and would later email several memos and surveys online. In the process of development I input a place holder Name, Organization, and Title in the form letter. Forgetting to change the created variable field names from the temporary text place holders, it emailed out as Dear Napoleon Bonaparte, ruler of the free world, ... This went to Washington D.C. top leaders. OPPS! The person who reviewed these message was use to seeing the temporary name/title, and did not say anything during the last review. I'm still feeling attitude prosecution from that 6 years later. DOH!

    • Dave P
      November 17, 2013 at 4:27 am

      Brilliant. Somewhere the real Napoleon is loving the start of those emails.

    • Marq
      December 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      When Napoleon ruled it, it was no longer the free world

  6. George I
    November 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Sent a friend a text message that I was supposed to read "Getting CPAP tomorrow, can't wait to get a good nights sleep". But the auto-correct sent "Getting CLAP tomorrow, can't wait to get a good nights sleep". So much for letting friends know I was excited about receiving my CPAP machine via text!

    • Dave P
      November 17, 2013 at 4:22 am

      Ha, brilliant. Did they believe you were actively planning on getting the clap on purpose?

  7. Aibek E
    November 14, 2013 at 10:44 am

    The email that was meant for my GF was mistakenly sent to someone else. That was embarrassing. There were a few other occasions but Gmail's "Undo" did the trick)

    • Dave P
      November 17, 2013 at 4:20 am

      I'm sure the Undo button has saved a lot more embarrassment in recent years. Kind of a shame, really!

  8. Christine S
    November 14, 2013 at 4:31 am

    An R A started work at my University while my boss was away. I had acronym dystopia at the time and concluded that RA referred to Research Assistant, not Research Associate. Normally this would be no big deal except in what was a spectacularly bad judgment call I arrived at the decision that she must be my new assistant.

    I found her to be uncooperative, resentful and generally unresponsive to all my requests to focus on my research not hers. I aired these grievances with my boss when he returned three moths later.

    The look on his face when I told him her 'bad attitude' (a mixture of disbelief and horror) clued me into the fact that something was perhaps, not as it should be.

    Indeed, something was amiss. She was in fact my boss, not vice versa. Which at least explained why she always seemed so resentful.

    The email I felt compelled to write to the research group, explaining how the rather odd power dynamic on the project had come about, would be up there with one of more awkward exchanges I have had.

    • Christine S
      November 14, 2013 at 6:44 am

      I should add that had I read my emails properly to begin with this misunderstanding would not have happened.

    • dragonmouth
      November 16, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Of course the RA could have clued you in. Instead she just let you dangle. Not the best way to build team spirit.

    • Dave P
      November 17, 2013 at 4:18 am

      Damn, that must have been awkward. I think I would have gone a scary shade of red when the truth came out.

    • Christine S
      November 17, 2013 at 11:57 pm

      @dragonmouth. The RA didn't know I was under the misplaced assumption that I was her boss. It somehow never came up. She just thought I was a total B*itch.

  9. likefunbutnot
    November 13, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Not embarrassing, exactly, but evil: a college roommate of mine thought it would be amusing to send the 1993 equivalent of an "I'm gay" status update on my logged in UNIX shell account to a study group mailing list I belonged to.

    In response, next time he stepped away from HIS logged in shell account I added a shell script to his account's login that forwarded the content of messages he was saving from his USENET news reader (i.e. pornographic pictures or sex stories, since that's pretty much all anyone would ever bother to save in 1993) to the last five people who had emailed him.

    That might've been disproportionate retribution. He wound up being completely banned from campus internet access since he couldn't figure out how to fix it, or even exactly what had been done. He transferred to another school the next year.

    These days someone would probably be arrested for that, but 1993 was a somewhat different time.

    • Dave P
      November 17, 2013 at 4:17 am

      Wow, that is some revenge for what was the fraping of the time!

  10. Marte B
    November 13, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    Got a particularly dumbassed email from the IT dept at work. Intending to forward it to a friend with a snarky comment, I clicked the wrong thing.

    I did recall the message immediately when it dawned on me what I had done, but unfortunately it wasn't fast enough.

    Had a rather unpleasant visit from the people higher up the food chain. Never made THAT mistake again.

    • Dave P
      November 17, 2013 at 4:14 am

      Work ones are always risky. Still, at least you kept your job!

  11. Anonymous
    November 13, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    When I text "hey girl your hot, I want to eat you up." Then the reply would be...."its your mother you tard!"

    • Dave P
      November 17, 2013 at 4:13 am

      Oh dear. Then again it could be worse, if you mother was into it, for example.

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