E-mail is now a standard professional tool. People use it in almost every kind of business as a means of instant communication. Seems like by now, we could have gotten used to it.
But I'm still getting forwards sent to my work inbox. Usually, they're innocuous and at worst, mildly annoying. However, there are e-mail forwards I can't stand: rumors, chain-letters, and fabrications.
Does anyone seriously think that Bill Gates (or whoever) is tracking a certain chain e-mail and sending out checks to people who pass it along? Is someone out there still under the impression that Jesus will love them more or answer their prayers with more regularity depending on how many addresses they cram into the "To:" line?
My rule for chain letters is to delete them immediately without even reading them. If the subject line says something like "FW: DO NOT DELETE! THIS REALLY WORKS," then I delete it even faster.
No one in Uganda wants to send you a million dollars to save for them in a U.S. bank account. Oliver North did not mention Osama Bin Laden before congress in 1991. The eleventh chapter of the ninth book of the Qu'ran does not make any reference to a butt-kicking eagle coming out of the west to rain hell upon Islam, nor does it even remotely touch upon the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Starbucks does indeed support the troops.
Here's an easy rule of thumb: if you read something in an e-mail forward, consider it to be completely false until you can get verification somewhere (like at Snopes.com). Any of the people who have continued to send whatever forward it is are automatically disqualified as credible sources.
And while you're at Snopes, check out this heart-warming story:
Cranky old man with a stick killed by the goat he was beating.
Old man: 0, Goat: 1.