email

Definition

Wikipedia defines email, short for electronic mail and often abbreviated to e-mail, email or simply mail, as a store and forward method of composing, sending, storing, and receiving messages over electronic communication systems.

E-mail is the short term for electronic mail. It is very much like normal mail with the main difference being that is sent electronically to someone’s e-mail address. As soon as you have an account with the Internet Service Provider you frequently get an email account. If not you can always create an account in websites like hotmail, yahoo, and many others. [1]

E-mail is an on-line version of sending messages by using a system connected to either the internet or intranet where a computer user can compose a message at one terminal that is generated at the recipient's terminal when s/he signs into his email account, the message sent via email could be formal or informal depending on the intended recipient.

Composing

When using an e-mail there are a few things to pay close attention:
• the header of the message which includes the e-mail address of the person you which to send the e-mail to;
• subject header which is like a short summary in one sentence on what the e-mail is about;
• the body of the email which is the content of the e-mail. [2]
• Inbox is the place where you store and receive your messages
• Folders store your messages, they are separated in: sent messages, draft messages, and some more that you can add.

Bellow you see an example of an e-mail message

email.gif
Windows_Live_Hotmail.png

Tone

Emails can be formal or informal in style but the majority are informal and may use abbreviations such as rofl for rolling on the floor with laughter; BTW for by the way. They also use smilies or emoticons to show how the writer feels.

Advantages over sms and phones

Email has the advantage of being asynchronous which means that the recipient can answer the mail when s/he wants to, unlike a phone call that requires attention immediately and might interrupt the person being contacted. Email doesn't have the restrictions of text messaging but in the past it has needed the recipient to be able to use a computer. Increasingly, mail messages can be received and sent via a mobile phone or similar device so these restrictions are no longer a problem.

Spam

One of the problems with email has been the proliferation of spam or email sent unsolicited to a mass audience. Sometimes spam mail is trying to get people to buy products but sometimes spam mail is fraudulent and might be encouraging users of an email system to visit a site engaged in phishing.

E-mail systems operate in a store front model where the e-mail computer server systems accept, forward, delivery and store messages for users, who need to use to their email account.

[1] Internet Guide (2002) What is Email – Electronic Email (Online)
[accessed on 16 Feb. 10] http://www.internet-guide.co.uk/email.html
[2] Wikipedia (2009) E-mail (online)
[accessed on 16 Feb. 10] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-mail

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