Posted February 15, 2004
I was being intrigued by the floorboards after a yoga class recently, and another yogi asked me whether I was a carpenter. I said no, I just like wood; when pressed, I gave him a summary of the various jobs I do. I mentioned the name of a nonprofit ISP I work for, and he realized that we had had an email exchange a few months earlier, about some question he had about his web site. He used the term "brushed off" and I suggested "just the facts" might be a more favourable way to put it. I didn't have any recollection of what I had written, but I thought that was the most likely reason why he would have felt "brushed off." He conceded that I "definitely knew my stuff."
Since then I've considered adding a disclaimer to the bottom of my email messages, something like "It might not be apparent from my wording, but I was almost certainly smiling or laughing while writing this message!"