06
Sep
10

“Hey! I was looking at our assignment and I….” Please don’t “hey” me this semester.

The semester is well underway now.  Students have completed several assignments, I am started to remember names and the cooler weather is a welcome change from the scorching summer temperatures.  Another sign that the semester is rolling along is the receipt of my first “hey” email.  “Hey” emails start like this:  “Hey!  I was reading our textbook” or “Hey! I was recording my speech” and, well, I’m sure you get the idea.  

A word of advice to students who one day wish to enter the professional world of work:  learn the correct spelling of  your professor’s name and begin your email message without the word “hey” in front of it.  Dear Professor Johnson or even Hello Dr. Smith is preferable to “hey” anything.  

Why is it so offensive to me?  It is too casual, too disrespectful and too startling.  Why is it happening so often lately?  I think because students don’t email regularly and they are mimicking the colloquial style of Facebook and texting.   I realize that some professors may be casual, too (an awful lot of us are on Facebook these days and do our fair share of texting as well).  Still, resist the temptation to treat us like another online social networking friend.  

If your email etiquette is something you’d like to brush up on, this site offers some excellent tips. 

Every semester I remind students to email with care.  That will be the opening topic for class on Wednesday.  After that, I will be “hey” email free and students will be well on their way to presenting themselves in a way likely to get the positive attention of a graduate school or employer in the future.


3 Responses to ““Hey! I was looking at our assignment and I….” Please don’t “hey” me this semester.”


  1. 1 Linda Schifino
    September 6, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Hey! I was reading your blog….
    Oh, sorry, I meant to say…
    Hi Dr. Gutgold🙂

    Seriously, thanks for posting this. I already received my first “Hey” e-mail, so I’m sending my students a link to this blog. Here’s hoping…

  2. 2 Kathleen Ferrizzi
    September 7, 2010 at 3:10 am

    Dearest Dr. Gutgold,

    Thank you for the courteous reminder. I too cringe at my one or two three year old students who will inevitably pokes me on my shoulder, leg, or worse, by back side to get my attention.

    Hope your semester is starting off great.

    Sincerely,
    Kathleen Ferrizzi

  3. September 7, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Oh, yes, this is the best advice! “Hey” should not only be “out” on e-mails, it should be out as the greeting start on voice mails too. Why? Because when students are looking for an internship or have applied for jobs, they leave their cell phone numbers. Imagine the impression a prospective employer has of you when they call and get “Hey, it’s Mary…leave a message.” There’s no time like the present to start acting like a pro. Maybe it’ll rub off on friends too! Great post! ~Dawn


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