E-mail is a marvellous invention, yadda yadda yadda, and I wonder how we ever got by without it, and all that. But it doesn't half cause a lot of problems. It is often impossible to judge the tone of the written word. I can write something with a light-hearted, whimsical voice. You, however, could read it in a bitchy voice, and decide I was being nasty. Taking enough care and time, a skilful writer should be able to convey the intended tone without resorting to the dreaded emoticons. When blogging, one usually writes longer, more considered pieces, lessening the confusion, but - clearly - not always.
Way back in 1996, when I first started using e-mail, I sent out a group e-mail to friends, asking them to suggest a word for the stress caused by having to think up something to put in the 'subject' field of an e-mail. One of them came up with a brilliant suggestion, a word which I think should enter the language: