I have talked over and over ’til I’m blue in the face about being nice online. Being friendly in emails, being approachable with the written word. Being, you know, relaxed.
In academia this seems to be a lost message. We do sooo much to prove how clever and informed and well researched we are in our papers, lecture materials and all that ‘guff’. Even emails sent by academics scream with every sentence ‘I’M REALLY CLEVER, ME. REALLY. I’VE GOT DEGREES AND EVERYTHING. I’M LEARN-ED. I’M A PROFESSOR.’ Etc etc etc.
Do you really think it makes anyone read your email more intensely, believe in it more, or take it more seriously? Well, for your information, it doesn’t. If anything, it’s a BIG turn off.
It’s not a competition, how we write – content is everything, grammar is important, but not meant to consist of all kinds of pointless additional long words.