Exciting News!!!! (Or Is It?…)

This past week I received an email with the subject line “Exciting News!”

When I opened it, I discovered an announcement about someone I know quite peripherally (if at all….) who had accepted a new position in a new firm.

Um… why would that be exciting to me?

Now some of you may think that response was unduly negative.

Some of you may even say to yourselves,

There’s no need to be so snippy, Frances. It’s sweet that she’s excited.”

If this is your thinking, then consider how you respond when you receive an email with the subject line,


Only to discover, upon opening it, that the information or situation being discussed is only urgent to the person writing the email—not to you.

Do you still find that sweet?

If you do, then you are a lovely human being but I will be frank:

Both of these subject lines drive me mad.

(Because—be honest—wasn’t it a tiny bit irritating to discover my subject line was not, in fact, delivering exciting news to you?)

With this in mind, then, I would have you ask yourselves as you begin to type subject lines along these lines,

“Is this likely to be as exciting (or as urgent) to the receiver as it is to me?”

If not, please adjust accordingly.