Social Question

john65pennington's avatar

Can you judge a person by the wording they use in an email?

Asked by john65pennington (29187points) May 19th, 2011

For years, I have been reading other peoples emails and answers they give on Answerbag and Fluther. As I read, I attempt to imagine what this person looks like and their character. Question: have you conversed with a person by email? Have you met this person, in a live setting, and were you surprised or correct in your evaluation of this person, through their emails?

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6 Answers

tedd's avatar

I have judged peoples’ education, personality, and such based on their use of slang, internet slang, and spelling/grammar.

These “judgments” don’t always turn out right, but can usually be pretty accurate.

gailcalled's avatar

I can judge a person’s interest and skills in writing well by the wording he/she uses in an email, if it is consistent. One email does not provide a big enough sample.

I can’t imagine being able to assess character or appearance from a writing sample.

I can also make a presumption about some personality traits – viz; insecurity, immaturity, self-involvement, originality, and ability to google.

Cruiser's avatar

I have been way off each and every time. I have seen people expand their online persona’s that are much bigger, better looking and even more exciting than their real selves.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I was once a big skeptic of online interaction crossing over into real life meetings, not such much now though. In 2007 I joined wis.dm and interacted with some of the most fascinating people, several I’ve met in real life, a few are actual friends rather than acquaintances now. Not one of them was a surprise to me once we met, aside from voices.

Neurotic_David's avatar

In the early and mid 1990s, I played online trivia on AOL and Delphi. For hours every night, a group of 20–30 people would hang out, and I’d make friends with some, and not be as close to others. Then, once every year or so, we’d get together for a real life weekend party. Each time I attended a get together, I was surprised to find that I would become friends with folks I wasn’t close with online, and sometimes the folks I was close with online weren’t quite what I expected in real life (and thus we wouldn’t be friends).

wundayatta's avatar

Imagining what a person looks like based on what they write like is such a crap shoot. If it’s important to know, I ask for a picture. There were some people I met without having a picture first, and their looks often surprised me.

I have met two people in real life who I got to know online first. I got to know both of them very well first. The first one really surprised me. She wasn’t much like what I thought she was. She didn’t even look like her pictures.

The second one was exactly what I expected. She presented herself in real life exactly as she had online.

So sometimes I’m right and sometimes I’m wrong. I think I’m wrong when I don’t pay attention to certain signals, and I see what my fantasy presents rather than what is really there.

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