words that annoy me, a continuing series

Dear Web Two Point Doh New Media Douchebag Marketeer Wannabes,

Please stop using the phrase "email blast".

The word you are looking for is one of the following:

    1. "email"   -or-
    2. "spam".

Thank you for your prompt compliance.

Tags: , ,

31 Responses:

  1. elliterati says:

    This phrase is one of the reasons I had to stop working for the advertising world. Nothing but evil comes from it's utterance.

    Here's a question I was actually asked once:
    "Can we make the unsubscribe page harder to use? We don't really want anyone to unsubscribe."

    Well then, stop sending them crap.

    • jered says:

      Arggh. A related issue for internet businesses, "Making it hard to cancel an account doesn't mean the customers will like you more." AOL, LinkedIn, etc. all have failed to learn this one.

      • daikon says:

        I never understood that one either - especially when the account is free. Considering that if a person doesnt want to use the service anymore and are unable to cancel, will just stop using it anyway, leaving their account "active" and consuming resources. (even if its just in the form of storage overhead)

  2. ckn says:

    If you like Web2.0 just wait for SPAM 2.0


  3. deathcircle says:

    WTF is an email blast?

    Is it dynamic?

  4. theducks says:

    Do they mention a guy named Wayne Mansfield, or any connection to Australia? If so, I have some friends at the ACMA who would be very interested.

  5. darth_spacey says:

    At work, my team encounters a surprising number of bad guys who (having had their Internet connection cut off for spamming "dark" email addresses) come back with "It's not spam! We've got an opt-out page!"

    They're sending dissociated-press v14gr4 emails to an account that has never requested them -- that has, in fact, never requested any email from anyone about anything -- but apparently that's okay? Yeah... I'm gonna go ahead and stick with "BANNINATED!", final answer.

    • The US "Yes, you CAN-SPAM" act says that, in fact, it's not spam if they have an opt-out page.

      This is because American law is stupid, and, luckily, the legal definition of spam has nothing to do with what ISPs can terminate you for.

  6. curlyeric says:

    I actually contacted the help desk for pitt.edu after one of their faculty started spamming.

    Their response was "It's not SPAM it's a newsletter, didn't you read the part at the bottom where they say you were included because they thought you might be interested?".

    Nedless to say pitt.edu has gone on my blacklist.

  7. badgerbag says:

    Yes. Totally turned my stomach when I heard that one!

  8. Haha, I've worked for a couple of online casinos and we always used the term "spam" for email campaigns. If nothing else, we were honest.

  9. substitute says:

    I am always worried when coworkers enthuse about this company: http://www.eyeblaster.com/

    It seems like a safety issue.

  10. mc_kingfish says:


    makes me punchy.

  11. skreidle says:

    I disagree, but only in the context found in my company. Generally, it's one of the field engineers sending out an email to several internal groups looking for assistance; it's email delivered far more widely than usual. Thus, "email" is inadequate description, "spam" is inaccurate as it's reasonably acceptable and not advertising; thus, "email blast" (or simply "blast") is the term generally used.

  12. baconmonkey says:

    Dear web point oh four hominid,

    please stop hiding in the bushes and flinging feces every time the hairless ones harness fire.

  13. baconmonkey says:

    speaking of which, I need to send out the DNA multi media spam blast tonight.

  14. cattycritic says:

    This bullshit is not confined to marketing people. It has spread to engineering executives, who also torture English like so:


    2) "The takeaway" I don't care how long it has been in use. It's stupid.

    3) "Going forward." How is this any better than "from now on," or "in future"? NOT NECESSARY.

    4) . . . screw it, there are too many and it will just annoy me more to think about them.

    • gryazi says:

      Is there a context for takeaway other than British fast food?

      "Going forward" is one of those verbal economy things. It looks long, but try saying it versus "in the future" or "from now on." The g sets up for the f and the pauses naturally fall in the right places.

      [I think the impact of that gem has been mostly positive, because it allows people to say 'we're going to try to...' in a way that doesn't immediately sound wimpy but also doesn't involve a firm commitment that has to be signed off on or focus-grouped to death. Thus, if it goes over well, it's a good decision that actually gets made and overcomes corporate inertia. And if it's a horrible idea the rabble/customers will rise up before it becomes an actual commitment.]

      • remonstrare says:

        "The takeaway" is the take-home message, in a corporate setting where you don't exactly go home after leaving a presentation (so "take-home message" wouldn't sound right).

        It implies that nobody will remember more than one thing about your presentation, so in order to be good, you have to parcel that memory up for them and offer it as a goody bag.

        Also, you mean "effect", not "impact".

      • cattycritic says:

        I think probably one reason I hate it is because nobody ever uses anything else any more. Repetition is just as annoying as stupid words. One hallmark of good speech is being able to say the same thing in different ways.

        Also, what I meant to say was, stop nouning verbs (tee hee! *ahem*) . . . but both are annoying.

    • don_negro says:

      Your learnings on this subject seem to be insufficient. Next steps need to be a deep-dive on current NMD terminology.

  15. lanikei says:

    i find the term e-blast even more irritating. and i am shamed when i have to help create them.

  16. Dear Web Two Point Doh New Media Douchebag Marketeer Wannabes,

    Please stop using the term "email".

    The word you are looking for is the following:


    • gryazi says:

      Believe it or not, when you look beyond the tech sector and encounter industries not entirely digitized (such as those relying on the stone-age physical-signature-on-paper authentication technique), the distinction is actually important.

      I was reminded of this the other day when I noticed I had stopped dropping the e.

      [We also continue to use faxes because, when things are already on dead trees, scanning for email is just faxing with about seven more steps and opportunities for failure involved.* On UNIX gscan2pdf has just recently matured and on commercial OSes you are normally at the mercy of whatever flaky software was supplied with the scanner, while third-party packages are either geared for single-page artwork or priced in the 4-digit range.
      Also, while almost no one will complain about not being able to edit a fax, sending a PDF (whether it contains OCR data or not) will immediately solicit demand for a .DOC followed by seven life-wasting iterations of diff and review.]

      * The 'great' thing about a fax is that you can push the button and walk away unless it jams. Scanning, as usually envisioned by the left-coast companies who bring it to us, involves babysitting the ADF until the file is created and then making sure it actually gets sent to a destination. I have met very few solutions that do that better by default. (One is connected to what is probably a $20,000 copier, and is a joy to use despite relying on an embedded Windows system so poorly-maintained that one has to agree that "A program is trying to send email on your behalf," but even that makes you wait around as it scans before you can enter the destination address.)

      • harvie says:

        Subscribe to a fax-to-email service in your local area code, fax your wedge of paper to that and a PDF will be with you shortly...

        Best solution I've found, honestly.

    • spendocrat says:

      I don't understand... they're only sending paper mail?

  17. limeonaire says:

    I don't know you, but I found your post in a search for "email blast" and I must say: Amen.

  18. daikon says:

    I swear, the only thing worse than receiving these things is being powerless to stop the company or client youre working for from doing it. Yes, its opt in - but its still completely pointless. I swear working in proximity to full-time marketers will either result in me giving up design/code for a monastery, or end in gunfire.