Whenever you write an email or IM to someone you don't know very well, you want to be as polite as possible. This will help keep the lines of communication open while you get to know their etiquette preferences and sense of humor. To help you out, the Politeness Web tool from FoxType Labs can be used to check the tone of the language you're using, and point out any trouble areas. Here's how:
Head to the Politeness Web tool and paste any sentence into the textbox. Click Check Tone and you'll be greeted with an evaluation of your words.
Directly under the textbox you'll see a politeness score, along with columns categorizing impolite and polite words. If you just need a quick adjustment to your original sentence, you can stop there. However, if you want to explore other word choices, scroll down and you'll see that the tool has attempted to rephrase the original text.
The Politeness tool will also categorize each attempt at rephrasing as polite, impolite or neutral. During testing, I found that the suggestions weren't always as comprehensive as the original text, but they did offer ideas that could help during a rewrite.
Since the Politeness tool is part of the labs area on the FoxType website, it may still be a work in progress. Even if it isn't finished yet, it's a useful tool in its current state. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.