The New Yorker Spoofs an E-Mail Auto-Response

If you like your humor dry and erudite, this week’s New Yorker has a hilarious Shouts & Murmurs section in which Martin Marks spoofs an e-mail auto-response:

“…Please note that if your e-mail is more than three (3) sentences in length I have read the first three (3) sentences, skimmed the opening paragraph, and sort of eyeballed the rest of it. Please do not expect a response to your e-mail anytime soon, if at all, for I am not a mind reader, and therefore cannot guess the nature of anything beyond the first three (3) sentences. For those of you who continue to insist on sending e-mails longer than three (3) sentences, here is a Wikipedia entry on haiku. Reformat your e-mails accordingly, as in this example:

 I am busy now;
 The Internet has stolen
 So much precious time.”

Want more wry e-mail-related pieces from the New Yorker? Check out:

  • A Mass E-Mail: “…I’d also appreciate it if you could send me your e-mail address…I assume that it goes without saying that I’ll also need your bank-account numbers, and any PIN or routing numbers associated with those accounts. Of course, I will also need your Social Security number…”
  • E-Mail Will Eat You Alive, a review of John Freeman’s book The Tyranny of E-mail. Freeman writes, “Computers have become handier, cuter, some might even say sexier, but they do very little to engage us as physical beings. They have almost no smell; only the most fanatical have tried licking them.”

— Leslie O’Flahavan

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