The Common Scold

The Common Scold is named after a cause of action that originated in Pilgrim days, when meddlesome, argumentative, opinionated women who displeased the Puritan elders were punished by a brisk dunk in the local pond. Believe it or not, the tort lasted until 1972, when State v. Palendrano, 120 N.J. Super. 336, 293 A.2d 747 (N.J.Super.L., Jul 13, 1972) pretty much put it to rest. But the thought of those feisty women, not afraid of a little cold water, has always cheered me up and inspired me. I first used the moniker as the name of my humor column at the University of San Francisco School of Law many moons ago, and revive it now for this blawg!



Outlook2003 Pet Peeve du jour:  Why is it that so few people take advantage of the "signature" feature in Microsoft Outlook? I absolutely hate it when someone e-mails me, and I want to pick up the phone to call them but they don't have their contact information listed in their
e-mail. Creating a signature is very easy to do, once you find where Microsoft has hidden the tool on your particular version of Outlook. (In the 2003 PC edition, it's under "Tools" then "Options" then "Mail Formats;" in the Mac version, it's easier to find, in "Tools."

Basically, you just hit "new," create your signature (ideally, include your name, title, company, e-mail address, phone, snail mail, etc.) and then set it as default. (Lawyers can even put those disclaimer notices in the text.) That way, every message you send automatically includes your contact info. You can control whether "replies" also include the contact info.

One important nuance: One of the quirks of Outlook is that if you forward a message to someone outside of your Exchange service, the original sender's e-mail address goes dead. An astoundingly annoying function that I have been yelling at the Mothership to fix for about a year now. So it's especially important to include your e-mail address in your signature.

I'm just flabbergasted at how few people use signatures, esp. marketers! You'd think they'd be the first on board. I've also found them useful for spreading word of mouth messages, too. The day we launched The Common Scold my signature was blaring the URL! (And on newer versions, you can control fonts, color, etc!)

December 15, 2004 | Permalink


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