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I suppose the phrase ‘No Reply’ can apply to several situations… phone calls, letters and emails, etc, but I want to talk specifically about email, since it is so easy to reply to… There is no need to put pen to paper or phone back in the hope that the previous caller will be available. It is just a question of pressing a few keys.

And yet, so many people seem to think that No Reply should be interpreted as ‘Not Interested’.

I understand when people don’t respond to scammers, spammers or beggars, but not when the situation is ‘normal’.

For example, I have recently been looking for people to do business with. The legal terms are not my own and the transactions are made through a solicitor, who, I think, is actually too fair on the ‘other side’, but I am willing to put up with the adverse terms in order to get the job done.

So far, after a month, I have approached more than three hundred people, who have already signed up to the scheme, but only about thirty have replied.

On most of the occasions when I have elicited a reply (by repeating my original request several times), I have usually been told that they had expected me to interpret ‘no reply’ as ‘not interested’. However, I interpret ‘no reply’ under these circumstances as a display of either wilful bad manners or ignorance of good ones.

There is no real excuse for either. It is simply bad manners or even etiquette.

In fact, I consider it pig-ignorance, but we are being conditioned to think that it is all right – just a modern trend!

No! Ignorance of acceptable behaviour is unacceptable.

No Reply = ‘I am an ignorant sod who either doesn’t know how to behave or doesn’t care!’

If you are in business and set yourself up as a potential partner, you are OBLIGED to answer relevant emails, or be regarded as unprofessional.

As an aside to this subject, when someone sends me email with no_reply@…. as the return address, I register it as spam wherever possible. I am not having people think that they can talk to me without having to listen to my reply – a conversation is a two-way dialogue.

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