Charlie Harvey

How to make an email signature that makes you seem like a dick

mail!It used to be that in order to seem like a dick you had to meet people in real life and act, well, dickish. Not any more. The internet has effectively democratized the ability to annoy both friends and people you have never even met. Indeed it seems now everybody is acting like a dick these days. On social media, youtube comment threads and even on good old email. Here are some top things to include in your email signature that are guaranteed to baffle, irritate and alienate.

Any action taken based on the contents of this email is prohibited

I’m not allowed act on the contents of this email. It says in this email. Paradoxically that means that if I act on this instruction then I am disobeying it.

Please consider the environment before printing this email

Why, thank you for your condescension. I really enjoy being patronized and you have certainly educated us ignorant plebs about the plight of the rainforests. You are such a paragon of environmental virtue what with working for BP and all that nobody could fail to head your passive aggressive whingeing.

Inspirational quotes

There is no doubt that your correspondance about stationery or accounting software is exactly what Gandhi had in mind when he said "be the change you want to see". Here’s the thing, though. The change I want to see is you being a little less smug and I don’t know exactly how to be that.

Still, as everyone knows, there is nothing more inspiring than a fatuous aphorism.

Multi coloured fonts, all caps and other creative formatting

Using multicoloured fonts makes your email look like a mad conspiracy theory website or something from Geocities in the nineties. Great for a sixth-form art project, or just for hurting people’s eyes. AS IS THIS.

And we all know that the main point of communication is to cause pain to one’s audience.


Here is what happens in my head when you include an image:

Me: Oh great! There’s an attachment. I bet it will be interesting. I wonder what it is.
Email client: *spends a while downloading*
Email client: Here’s a massive shitty logo of the company name — which is basically the domain part of the email address.
Me: *sighs*

Please excuse the typos

Sure you can’t be arsed to switch on spellcheck. We get that. It is good to know how highly you value other people’s time

If you are not the intended recipient then please delete all copies of this email

Unfortunately I am not a mind-reader. If I was, then perhaps I might know what your intention was in sending me this email. As it stands I can only guess. The exhortation to delete all copies means, of course, that I shall need to hack your computer to remove them from your sent items folder. Great. I like a challenge.

Your email address

But you just… I mean why did you… You’ve seriously added the email address that you just sent your email from in the signature. My brain hurts now.

Sent from my iPhone/Whatever

In addition to providing free advertising for Apple or Google or whoever (you corporate lackey, you) this makes you sound like a shallow consumerist. Or perhaps a technical illiterate who cannot change their default signature.


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