Memorial University   THEODORE S. NORVELL MUN Engineering

My e-mail address is

theo at mun dot ca

How to make sure I don't read your e-mail: We all know reading e-mail can take a lot of time. To help me save time, you can send me e-mail in a way that will almost certainly ensure that I won't read it.

  • E-mail me from an unknown address. If you are e-mailing from an address or some address that is in my address book, it will go to my white-list and I'll probably read it. So please do me a favour: e-mail me from some address you've never e-mailed me from before.

  • Don't put any keywords in your subject line. Mail from people I don't know will still go to my white-list if it contains any of the following key-words.


    So do me a favour: don't include these keywords in your subject line. Otherwise, I will almost certainly read your message.

  • Avoid meaningful subject lines. Of course some people can't help e-mailing from an account that I know. Don't worry. There is still hope. Avoid meaningful subject lines. Messages that have subject lines like "Read this" or "Please distribute" or "Upcoming conference" or "Call for proposals" or "My name is Olga and I am looking for friends". (Actually that last one is an example of a meaningful subject line, but I still won't read the message.)

  • Put the meaningful part of your message in an attachment. Why should the main body of your message tell me what the attachment is about? That would only encourage me to open the attachment, which is a rather time consuming process. In my experience, e-mail that contains only a long chain of forwarded messages, each saying "please distribute", generally have attachments that encourage me to apply for funding for bowel disease research or to attend economics conferences. (Now bowel disease is really nasty and research grants are really nice, so I wish I had a proposal at the ready, but I don't; and goodness knows where we'd be with out economics conferences, however I am not likely to have my papers accepted at one.)