Textbook advice on e-mail etiquette: Keep it short like skirts

The textbook is widely prescribed by professors to B Com (Honours) students in most DU-affiliated colleges.

Published: 08th June 2017 06:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th June 2017 07:00 AM   |  A+A-

The ‘Basic Business Communication’ textbook explains how to write e-mails in a crisp manner

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A BCom (Honours) textbook advising students to write emails short enough to be interesting like skirts has created outrage on social media.

The book ‘Basic Business Communication’ has been authored by C B Gupta, a former head of the Commerce department of a Delhi University (DU)-affiliated college.

The textbook is widely prescribed by professors to B Com (Honours) students in most DU-affiliated colleges.

The text in the book, which has been in print for over a decade, said, “Email messages should be like skirts — short enough to be interesting and long enough to cover all the vital points.”

“It is an offending statement in the textbook. If you want to guide the students, there are many ways to do it. It’s a shocking thing and no student has come forward to talk about it,” said a DU student.

Another student said, “Some students from socially and economically weaker sections have a tendency to memorise everything written in the textbooks, without realising that such analogies may legitimise casual sexism in our society.”

“Thankfully, we are able to realise and question the reliability of such textbooks in our course. Why didn’t anyone question this statement in this book which is being reprinted for years?” she wondered.

Now, a septuagenarian, professor C B Gupta expressed regret for hurting people’s sentiments and said the analogy was taken from an article by a foreign author. “I have already deleted the statement from my book. I will also advise the publisher to remove the content before publishing the latest edition,” Gupta said.
To a question on why such an analogy was made, he said it was a mistake on his part.

“It was not to hurt anyone. I took the analogy from an article written by a foreign author,” Gupta said.

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