Email signatures rant

I hate long email signatures, they are one of the most unnecessary, pointless, wasteful and irritating things I can think of. And what the hell does it even tell me? I mean perhaps, if it was the first email I ever sent to someone outside of my workplace I’d want to write my name, company and perhaps my website address in my signature, but if we work at the same company, or have known each other for 18 years, wtf are you sending me this information for?

Who are the idiots who write their email address in their signature? I know what your email address is! You just emailed me!…and there are TWO, yes two SMTP headers that perform this job – “from” and “reply-to”. Stop it. Stop it now.

Another major annoyance is that they get in the way of quoted text in email threads, so I end up with 500 lines of signature for every 2 to 3 lines of useful text. If you hadn’t already guessed, this makes reading emails really difficult…and I don’t even like reading easy to read emails.

But what really grates is the people who have the audacity to tell me (in green text) to consider the environment and not print the email, when, if I did print it, their signature would take up over 90% of the used paper and ink anyway. Not to mention the additional bandwidth and thus electricity they’re using by sending such a massive amount of text down the line EVERY TIME they send an email. YOU consider the environment and remove that text from your signature.

That leads nicely on to multipart MIME HTML emails. HTML emails are usually sent by your email client as two versions: a plain text version (so recipients who have mail clients that can’t display HTML can read the message) and a HTML version. So every time someone sends out a HTML email they actually send a duplication of the same content. The worst part being that 99.9% of emails sent to me do not need to be HTML and are often only sent as HTML to accommodate visual layout of information in the signature. So stop sending me HTML emails unless it is truly necessary! You’re wasting my bandwidth.