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An email address identifies an email box to which email messages are delivered. A wide variety of formats were used in early email systems, but only a single format is used today, following the specifications[a] developed for Internet mail systems since the 1980s. This article uses the term email address to refer to the addr-spec defined in RFC 5322, not to the address that is commonly used; the difference is that an address may contain a display name, a comment, or both.
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The transmission of electronic mail within the Internet uses the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), defined in RFC 5321 and 5322, and extensions like RFC 6531. The mailboxes may be accessed and managed by users with the Post Office Protocol (POP) or the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) with email client software that runs on a personal computer, mobile device, or with webmail systems that render the messages on a screen or on paper printouts.
That has interesting implications: it means you can control what email gets downloaded when by having more than one account. I could separate askleo.com into two accounts, for example: one for the email addresses I want to pay attention to quickly, and the other for things that aren’t as critical. You could also segregate email based on which address it was sent to, which is what I do with my askleo.com email.
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I find it really annoying that people who used to check their email regularly, now leave large intervals between accessing their messages. This seems to be a social media thing where they’re all busy putting up their lunch pictures etc. etc. up for ‘everyone’ to see. Unfortunately this behaviour seems to be spilling over to the less conscientious in their work activities and they seem to be treating digital mail with contempt in some cases. Guess it’s back to paper mail and ‘snail’ delivery – not that that always gets the attention it deserves.