But it is not – I’ve always been getting emails from people that use Outlook with weird characters strewn here and there for good measure, specifically a lot of people that send me email think its funny to add “J” (capital letter j) at the end of some sentences, for example:
And I never could figure out why,
Until very recently I decided to take a look under the hood and see if the J is indeed in the original email or this is just a rendering issue with my email client (all of them), so I took a look at the source of the email, at the HTML section (because I am HTML email friendly), and this is what I saw:
What happens is that MS-Outlook, not surprisingly at all, assumes that everyone else is using MS-Outlook as well, and since they are using MS-Outlook they surely always only see the HTML content and also have the Microsoft Wingdings font in which the glyph that represents the letter J is a smily.
I’m not going to go into much details on how incredibly stupid this is (and it is – if you want smilies in HTML you can just add a smily graphic, like Thunderbird, Evolution, KMail, GMail and basically every modern mail client does), but the thing is – if you assume that the only people out there are using the same client and will always use HTML, why add a text part to the email? Its clearly optional, what would we write there?
Ah. a J. right. Maybe its a short for “ja ja ja”.
(BTW – the “mailsig” part is also something that MS-Outlook adds on its own to mark where the automatic signature have been inserted in the HTML component. Clearly the text rendering for MS-Outlook had a lot of thought put into it 😉 ).