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At Last: Emotional Spellcheck
I once read that a house cat will go completely feral within a few days of living outside, a figure I think about every long weekend. It's a common symptom of a little extra time off that we get a bit, possibly overly, relaxed -- those back-to-work emails can be unintentionally snarky, or worse, sound angry when we mean to be jokey. (Or, even worse worse, when we're actually angry.)
We've all done it: written a friend or coworker an email in the heat of the moment, typed out in the garbled language of anger. Or else, sent the boss a note pounded into a smart phone while crossing the street, which you only later realize is characterized by a completely unintentional brusqueness. Thankfully, some smartypantses (smarties pants?) last year invented ToneCheck, a program that makes sure your emails don't sound angry. (That we're only figuring out this now? we're adding to the list of things we wish we were on top of.)
Still: One free download later, your emails will feature this handy key along the bottom:
As your note veers into the spittle-flecked screed territory, the "tone alert" bar increases in concerned red lines. Key phrases are called out, and helpfully labelled with corresponding emotions (over 200 of them, according to the ToneCheck site): "upsetting," "concerning," all the way up to "aggressive." The idea being you'll never accidentally start a digital feud with your sister because she thought you were mad and you thought she was mad and... well, you get the idea.
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