How green you are


Remember when email signatures supplied contact information, possibly some dodgy ascii art and a pithy quotation, maybe even some obfuscated perl?

Now they come loaded with adverts for anti-virus software and legal nonsense:

If you weren’t meant to receive this email don’t read it, let us know immediately, destroy it and all copies of it, and by the way it’s your fault if it contains any viruses. Don’t believe us? We’ll sue you!

Not very friendly, is it? Is that really how you want to sign your email correspondence? Does your organisation pay people to come up with this? The anti-virus message is ironic since it is itself viral — a nasty self-replicating block of text.

Such signatures annoyed me to start with but now, like everyone else, I ignore them. Often the sender is powerless to edit their own signature anyway. I do notice when signatures change, though, and the latest fashion seems to be a plea to save trees:

Think before you print this email.

I do think, thanks.