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-- now with attachment! [Apr. 25th, 2008|03:20 pm]
There are a number of philosophical reasons why email attachments are evil and lame, but I have given in. It's just the easiest way to get files from A to B in many cases.

Here's what we need now: I want every mail client, including (especially!) web-based ones to do a very simple scan of a message's text when the 'send' button is pushed. If I wrote the word "attach" (or "attached" or "attaching"), and the message has no attachments? Pop up a dialog and ask me if I have forgotten the attachment before sending it. Because man am I tired of sending email saying "oops, forgot the attachment"!

[User Picture]From: bats22
2008-04-26 12:00 am (UTC)

From the Atlantic Monthly on the Topic

Apologies for those of you who find this too cutesy. But I thought that atachia was pretty clever.

The other fugitive sought in October was a term for saying in an e-mail that a document or file is attached and then sending the message before remembering to attach the file. A number of readers who submitted responses by e-mail amused themselves by including a line like "For explanation, see attached document" but not attaching anything. Ha-ha!

Sends of omission and e-mnesia were popular suggestions. Richard Siegelman, of Plainview, New York, coined absentee-mail; Teri Viray, of San Diego, nonsendquitur; and Barbara Olsen, of Poughkeepsie, New York, deficit sending.

Carissa Wodehouse, of Portland, Oregon, came up with sentropy. She explained, "The definition of entropy in chemistry is the amount of thermal energy not available to do work, but dictionaries also give the meaning 'a measure of the loss of information in a transmitted message.'" W. Sean McLaughlin, of Alexandria, Virginia, wrote, "I was immediately inspired by the arcane grammatical term asyndeton [defined in the American Heritage Dictionary as 'the omission of conjunctions from constructions in which they would normally be used'] and thought minor modifications might yield the right meaning: a-senditon. An alternative derives from the medical community. If ataxia describes a lack of muscular coordination, perhaps lack of attaching a file might be called attachia."

Erik Bleich, of Middlebury, Vermont, was one of many people to suggest forgetfileness. He takes top honors for the word together with his explanation and a bonus word he supplied. Bleich wrote, "In all my years of using e-mail, I never once failed to attach a promised document. I prided myself on this point. Then I read your column. The very next day, I suffered my first case of forgetfileness. At least now I have a memorable term for when I forget." And his postscript: "If the oversight is of little consequence, it is mere forgetfileness. If it has serious repercussions, it is best called a docudrama."

I've taken to sending attachments directly from the application I'm generating them in (from Windows--Word, Acrobat, Excel); works out pretty well.
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