11 July 2017

Donald Trump Jr. emails reveal a terrible iPhone email signature

If there’s such a thing as a smoking gun email, here it is: Donald Trump Jr. plainly stating that he’d “love” a Russian government lawyer to provide dirt on Hillary Clinton to the Trump campaign.

The whole thing is—in what will become the most commonly understated use of the word in American electoral politics—stupid. But we’ll leave the political hand-wringing to others. 

Because something else about this thing stinks. 

Let this email chain stand as a lesson to every single person who communicates via smartphone in the year 2017, thanks to one repeated line: “This iphone speaks many languages.”

Rob Goldstone, the music promoter who arranged a meeting between Don Jr. and Russian lawyers last year, has an awful, cringe-so-hard-your-eyelids-bleed email signature of a familiar sort we all should’ve left behind years ago. We’ll repeat it once more, and then try to forget it forever: 

“This iphone speaks many languages.”

It’s an odd variant of the ubiquitous “Sent from an iPhone, excuse typos” signature you’ve encountered in countless memoranda since humble-bragging Apple early-adopting nerdballs starting sending it from the first iPhones 10 years ago, the connotation of which is intended as: “Hey, this message might be inadvertently nonsensical or mistake-ridden, because I had to write it by pressing my greasy thumbs against a sheet of glass, and its virtual buttons are the size of Tic Tacs.” 

We sense Goldstone is making a joke here—those aren’t typos, my iPhone is just speaking a different language ;). 

It’s a bad one, and there’s a lesson here. 

Everyone has a smartphone now. Indicating that the email you sent came from an iPhone is (1) redundant, and (2) lazy. It’s to say: “I don’t really respect you enough to check for typos [even though we are conducting very important/potentially treasonous business that would benefit for precision in thought and communication].”

In essence: It’s actually kind of rude to include a line like this in your email signature. Yeah, dude, we all have phones, and we get that typos are a thing—you’re not, like, special. Aside from the Russian collusion thing.

So, if you must: A simple “Sent from my iPhone” will suffice. 

Or better: “Sent from my phone,” so as to avoid any implied superiority over a budget Android device.

[And if you’re curious, that’s “Отправлено с моего телефона” in Russian.]

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