About Overcome Email Overload with Eudora 5

About Overcome Email Overload with Microsoft Outlook 2000

Frequently asked questions

About the author/publisher

Press Room

World Wide Webfoot Press home

Other email material by Kaitlin Duck Sherwood:

A Beginner's Guide to Effective Email

Finding Email Addresses

Why I Don't Like Electronic Greeting Cards

Email Bibliography

Humorous looks at email:

The Dark Side of Web Publishing

Email vs. Letters

Hyphenate or not -- Email or E-mail?


Excerpted from Overcome Email Overload with Eudora 5
Copyright © 2001 Kaitlin Duck Sherwood

This glossary cannot be an ultimate authority. Electronic mail is still relatively new, and the language has not completely settled down yet. For example, newsgroups, discussion groups, and ele ctronic forums are all the same thing--many-to-many textual conversations that can happen over long periods of time--but they have different names depending upon who is talking about them. Words also take on multiple meanings because there aren't other good terms. For example, a client can be a piece of hardware, a piece of software, or the combination of the two. You can sometimes figure it out from context, but not always. Use this glossary as a guide only.


Usually used as a synonym for email address or login ID. (Billing accounts are frequently identified by login IDs.)


A sequence of manipulations that a filter performs on all messages that match the given conditions.


A unique identifier used to determine where to send someone's email. Usually made up of the login ID, the at sign (@), and the name of the company or Internet Service Provider.


A cute way of saying Thanks In Advance .


Abbreviation for As Far As I Know .


Same as nickname .


Message sent to many people. Usenet term; not frequently used to refer to an email message.


BCC is an abbreviation for Blind Carbon Copy . "Blind" indicates that the receivers can't see who is on the Bcc: list. See also CC .


The part of a message that contains the conversation -- as opposed to the part that has information about the message like the time and date, sender, transmission path, and so on. See also header.


To be returned as undeliverable. "I tried to send you the summer picnic menu, but the message bounced." Also sometimes used as a noun to refer to a bounced message.


Abbreviation for By The Way. "BTW, I loved the curried mushrooms and broccoli appetizer!"


To split a mailing list digest into individual messages.


CC is an abbreviation for Carbon Copy and comes from the days when people had to use carbon paper to make copies.

For those of you who are too young to remember, carbon paper used to be one of the only ways to duplicate a document. To make a copy, one had to place a sheet of carbon paper between two pieces of regular paper. Pressure from writing or typing on the top paper would transfer through the carbon paper and leave marks on the bottom paper. While people now rarely use carbon paper for duplicating documents, you can still occasionally see carbon paper in credit card signature slips.


A real-time textual conversation, often with many participants.


A program that depends upon a program that is running on a different computer. There are now many services available where one program runs on one computer, another runs on a different computer, and they communicate over a network. The program that provides the service is called the server and the program that uses the service is called the client. (The language is a bit imprecise; the respective computers are also frequently called servers and clients.)

One good example of a client-server application is the Web. A Web client or browser runs on an individual's personal computer. The browser connects to a Web server, which gives the client the Web page for display. Email is also a client-server application. Messages come to a mailbox on a mail server, where they stay until a mail client retrieves them.



The piece of the filter that determines whether or not the email software will execute the specified action. Also called criteria by some email programs.


Same as conditions in filters.


Abbreviation for Customer Relationship Management [software].

Customer Relationship

A type of software that tracks interactions with customers,


makes using a shared database of knowledge easier, and directs questions to the most appropriate person.


A collection of messages to a mailing list that are packaged together and sent as one message.

discussion group

For practical purposes, same as newsgroup.

distribution list

Same as mailing list.


Abbreviation for Electronic Customer Relationship Management [software]. See Customer Relationship Management .

email client

A more specific and technical term for a program (like Eudora) that you use to read, organize, send, and store email messages. See also client .

email ID

Same as login ID .


Cartoon faces "drawn" with text and used to express emotion. Short for "emotional icon."


Abbreviation for Eudora Sharing Protocol.

Eudora Sharing Protocol

A feature of Eudora that lets you synchronize files over email.

envelope information

Also called a message header. See header.


Abbreviation for End Of Message.


Abbreviation for File Carbon Copy . FCC'd messages are copied to a mailbox. See also CC .


Filters are tools in an email program that automatically take actions based upon the contents of a message and rules that you define.

Note that email filters are different from web filters . Web filters are a form of censorship, designed to prevent people from viewing certain web pages. Web filters might have many different conditions but have only one action: disallow viewing the page. Email filters usually have many possible conditions but also several possible actions. And while web filtering software is designed so that the person browsing the Web can't modify the filters, email filters usually are under the control of the person reading the messages.


An angry or insulting message. "I sent a warning to everyone in the company about the Good Times virus, and fifty people flamed me for wasting resources!"

flame war

A series of angry or insulting messages between two or more correspondents.


As used by Eudora, a collection of mailboxes. Caution: many other email programs use the term folder where Eudora uses the term mailbox .


For practical purposes, same as newsgroup.


To send a copy of a message to a third party. "I hope you don't mind, but your essay about learning how to drive was so funny that I forwarded it to my Aunt Sonia."


Eudora-specific abbreviation meaning First Unread Message of Last Unread Batch .


Abbreviation for For What It's Worth. "I know you're concerned about shaving your head, but FWIW, nobody has ever hassled me about my shaved head."


Abbreviation for For Your Information. "FYI--someone stole Fred's bicycle this morning, so he's in a bad mood."


Abbreviation for Great Minds Think Alike.


A piece of information about an email message. Headers typically show who sent the message, who it was addressed to, the date and time that it was sent, and some information about the path that the message took. Header can refer to either the entire set of information or to just one piece (such as the subject or the date). Also called envelope information .


Abbreviation for HyperText Markup Language. See HyperText Markup Language.


Text that, when clicked upon, initiates an action (like retrieving a Web page).

HyperText Markup Language

The language used to create most Web pages.


Abbreviation for Internet Engineering Task Force. See Internet Engineering Task Force.


Abbreviation for I Have A Customer. "IHAC who says that he broke the cup-holder on his computer."


Abbreviation for Internet Messaging Access Protocol. See Internet Messaging Access Protocol.


Abbreviation for In My Humble Opinion or In My Honest Opinion. "IMHO, Eudora is the best email program available."


Abbreviation for In My Not-So-Humble Opinion.


A set of computers that communicate with each other with TCP/IP, can access machines on the Internet, but that can only be accessed by computers that are on the same local network. Machines on an intranet are not supposed to be publicly accessible.


When capitalized, it refers to a specific extremely large network of computers that communicate with each other using the TCP/IP specifications and that are publicly accessible. When not capitalized, refers to a network of computers connected by a TCP/IP network that are not attached to the public network.

Internet Messaging Access Protocol

A type of server-based email system. Messages are kept on a server and only temporarily stored on the client. (This is different from Post Office Protocol (POP), where messages are stored on the client and only temporarily stored on the server.)

In practical terms, IMAP lets you access your email from two or more computers and it will always look the same. The disadvantage of IMAP is that you need to stay connected to the Internet for the whole time you are working with your email.

With POP, the messages are stored on the computer you used to read them. If you go to another computer, you won't see all the messages because some or all are on the first computer. See also Post Office Protocol .

Internet Engineering

A group that develops standards for Internet technologies,

Task Force

including email.

Internet Service

An organization that provides access to the Internet. If you


get your email through your company, then your company is your Internet Service Provider.


Abbreviation for Internet Service Provider. See Internet Service Provider.

Light mode

A version of Eudora 5 that is free, but with fewer features than Paid mode or Sponsored mode.


Although the name of a particular list server site, this term is frequently used as a generic synonym for list server .

listname address

The email address that reaches all the subscribers on a mailing list. This is not the same as the list server address, which is used for communicating with the list server software.


The name of an early list server software package. Some people now use it to mean a list server or mailing list.

list server

A program that automatically administers a mailing list. "If you don't want to get any more messages, don't tell the list, send an unsubscribe message to the list server." Also called a listserv or listbot .

list server address

Email address used to communicate with list server software.

live text

See hyperlink.

login ID

The unique identifier used for signing on to a computer or email account. Same as handle , username, email ID , and (sometimes) account .


Abbreviation for Laughing Out Loud.


A person who reads messages on a mailing list or Usenet newsgroup but does not write (post) any messages.


A collection of messages.

mailing list

A free-flowing, many-to-many email conversation with shifting membership. A piece of software (called a list server, listbot , or listserv ) will take any messages to a particular email address and re-send them to everybody who has subscribed to that list. Also called distribution list.


Abbreviation for Multipart Internet Mail Extensions, an extension to the original email specifications that allows sending messages in essentially any format. (It does not, however, guarantee that the receiver's computer will be able to display any format.)


Abbreviation for Multi-Level Marketing. See Multi-Level Marketing.


Abbreviation for Mail Transport Agent. See Mail Transport Agent.


Abbreviation for Mail User Agent. See Mail User Agent.

Multi-Level Marketing

A type of pyramid scheme.


A person who is new to the Internet. Depending upon how it is used, it can be derogatory.


A forum where many people can read and write (post) messages. Once this word only referred to Usenet discussions, but now the word is drifting to include Web-based discussions. "One of the basketball newsgroups had a posting that someone is going to start a second women's professional league."


A shortcut for either a single email address or a group of email addresses. For example, you might have a group nickname roses that contains the email addresses of seven people in your rose gardening club. Then if you addressed a message to roses , your email software would send the message to those seven club members. Also called alias, group, or card .



Abbreviation for No Reply Needed . This is not common, but I would like to see it become common.


About something that is not directly related to a mailing list's stated purpose.


Common (but by no means universal) abbreviation for Off-Topic .


Abbreviation for On The Other Hand. "I think the U. S. president is incompetent. OTOH, her husband is the best politician I've ever seen."


A mailbox containing copies of messages that have been sent. "I looked through my outbox for my last message to him, and I sent him the report last Thursday."

Paid mode

A version of Eudora 5 that has all the features and no advertising. See also Sponsored mode and Light mode.

Ponzi scheme

A particular type of pyramid scheme.


Abbreviation for Post Office Protocol . See Post Office Protocol .

Post Office Protocol

One specification for how computers must talk to each other to transfer a message from an email server to an email client. Post Office Protocol (commonly abbreviated POP) systems are designed for the user to download, store, and manipulate mail on the user's desktop machine. This is different from IMAP, where the mail is stored and manipulated on a server.


To write a message for a large group. One implication of post instead of write is that the message will be public and not private. "Somebody posted to the Stanford alumni mailing list that they had a job vacancy to fill in floss recycling."


A set of rules that computers use to talk to each other. There are many protocols for many purposes, including sending email, transferring email, and sending instant messages.

pyramid scheme

A scheme where later participants (B) pay money to earlier participants (A) in the hope that even later participants (C) will give them (B) even larger sums of money than they (B) gave to earlier participants (A). This is almost always illegal (except when investing in stock market bubbles).


To forward in a manner where the message appears to come directly from the original author, not the person who forwarded it.


A way of compactly describing a set of similar text strings. Also known as regular expression .


The method of replying where every person in the From: , To: and Cc: headers get the response, not just the person on the From: line. See also Reply-to-Sender.


The method of replying where only the person in the From: header gets the response, not also any people in the To: and Cc: headers. See also Reply-to-All.


Abbreviation for Request For Comments, but almost nobody uses the long form. Originally, RFCs were requests for comments. In practice, now RFCs are the rules for how computers talk to each other over the Internet.


RFC822 is the name of the original specification for email--before rich text, attachments, and many of the other features of modern email. To say that a message is "RFC822", then, is to say that its formatting is very simple.


Abbreviation for Rolling On The Floor Laughing.


Abbreviation for Rolling On The Floor Laughing (ahem) hard .


A specialized computer that is responsible for sending information onwards towards its final destination.


Abbreviation for Real Soon Now . This is usually used jokingly when something has been promised (and delayed) for a long time. If you read RSN, you should probably not believe that the item under discussion is going to be ready any time soon.


Abbreviation for Read The (ahem) Manual.


Microsoft's term for filter .

screen name

One of many email IDs associated with one billing account.


Sendmail is the most common Mail Transport Agent . Sendmail takes a message and sends it on towards its final destination. See also Mail Transport Agent.


Software and/or hardware that provides a service (like Web pages) over a network. See also client .

Simple Mail Transport Protocol

The protocol (rules) that computers use to talk to each other to send email towards its destination.


Techno-slang for postal (paper) mail.


Same as emoticon.


Abbreviation for Simple Mail Transport Protocol. See Simple Mail Transport Protocol.

Sponsored mode

A version of Eudora 5 that has all the features of Paid mode, but shows you advertisements. See also Paid mode and Light mode .


To join [a mailing list].


Techno-slang for Unsolicited Commercial Email . It apparently comes from an episode of the Monty Python television show, and is not usually capitalized except at the beginning of sentences. (The words Spam and SPAM are brand names for a particular brand of canned meat.)


Abbreviation for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol , but almost nobody uses the long form. TCP/IP refers to the set of rules that computers on the Internet use to talk to each other.


A thread is a set of messages on the same topic. Threads usually have the same Subject: or have information in the header that connects a message with the previous message.


Abbreviation for Thanks In Advance.


Abbreviation for Unsolicited Commercial Email.

Uniform Resource

A Web address, for example http://www.webfoot.com.




Fancy name for junk email.

Commercial Email



To request to be removed [from a mailing list].


Abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator. See Uniform Resource Locator.


An application that lets many people write (or post) and read messages (or articles). Articles are distributed by copying them from computer to computer. Usenet is the original Internet discussion forum, but there are now many types.


Same as login ID .

viral marketing

Viral marketing is a term for any product that encourages (or forces) its customers to advertise the product. For example, many free email services include a mini-ad for their service at the bottom of each message that is sent via the service. This book is another example: if you want to get more readable email, you should convince your correspondents to also read this book.


What happens with text where the width of the screen is smaller than the number of characters until a carriage return. If the text is broken into lines at word boundaries, it is word-wrapped. If the text is not broken into lines or is broken in the middle of words, it is not word-wrapped.


Abbreviation for Your Mileage May Vary, a standard disclaimer in automobile advertisements in the United States. It means, basically, that the author believes his or her statement to be true but recognizes that it might not be a universal truth. "I've never had trouble buying a ticket right before the show starts, but YMMV."

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