Navigating the tone of emails can be tough. I'm constantly reading and re-reading my messages to make absolutely, 100 percent sure that my emails are nice and chill and not secretly offensive. But with this app that rates the politeness of your emails, you no longer have to take 20 neurotic minutes per email. And by you, I mean me. I need this app.
FoxType, which is also available both as a browser-based tool and as a downloadable Gmail plug-in, is pretty straightforward. Copy and paste your potentially offensive text into the "Check your tone" box, and the app will give you a grade out of 100. A grade! This very much appeals to my inner Teacher's Pet.
The app will also elaborate on what elements make your email polite versus impolite, and provide potential rewrite options, depending on whether you want to come off as neutral or polite. What is the difference between those two, really? Eh, who knows. Maybe aiming for neutrality is a way to cut down on false positivity without coming across as a flat-out jerk. Or... something.
Anyway, I obviously had to test FoxType out. But who should I use as my very scientific test subjects? Of all humans, who could maybe use a few pointers in the politeness department? The answer came in the form of my roommates' collective favorite disaster queens: The Real Housewives . Just, like, all of them. So here's what happens when you run a bunch of quotes from various Real Housewives through FoxType:
1. "If you can't be my friend, just please don't be my enemy." - Taylor, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Ugh, poor Taylor. At least her plea for civility was, like, nice-ish. She used the word "please."
2. "Go to sleep! Go to sleep!" - Bethenny, Real Housewives of New York
When is Bethenny not saying a command sentence, though? Also, did anyone else notice that the neutral suggestion is "get laid?" Because I did. Oh, did I ever.
3. "Ohm honey, even Louis Vuitton makes mistakes." - LuAnn, RHONY
This directly followed LuAnn referring to Alex's sartorial choice as "Herman Munster shoes," which is my favorite Real Housewives insult of all time.
4. "No amount of Chanel handbags is going to make you a lady." - Fay, RHOBH
This insult cannot be improved upon because it is such a wonderfully mean one-liner. Also, it's curious how changing "Oh, honey" to "Oh, dear" makes so much of a difference, isn't it?
5. "What other ideas do you have in your Pinot-filled hat?" - LuAnn, RHONY
So I think I found a glitch in this app. After several very nice and civilized suggestions, they just started listing literal nonsense words. "Wschapea," for example, is probably not an improvement.
But hey, no one's perfect, right? To give FoxType a whirl, check it out here.