updated 10/12/2005 7:02:12 PM ET 2005-10-12T23:02:12

Our inboxes at work are chaotic. About 17 billion e-mails, all kinds of spam, endless threads from 14 months back, jokes your little brother found on the Net and sent to everyone he knows, pitches from people who say they met you at a conference last year -- it goes on ad infinitum.

But even legitimate work e-mail can be annoying, with different people following different rules about how much to send and how.

So what's your biggest work e-mail peeve? A staffing firm posed that question to 250 people in advertising and marketing over the summer.

Almost a third, 29 percent, said being copied on the "reply all" function was the most irksome practice. An equal percentage cited receiving large, unsolicited files in their e-mail.

About 16 percent said they found messages that are too long the most annoying e-mail practice when communicating with business contacts. Thirteen percent cited typos and grammatical mistakes and 6 percent cited having to scroll through the message to find the information they need.

"As professionals increasingly rely on e-mail to communicate, it becomes more time-consuming and cumbersome to manage messages," said Tracey Fuller, executive director of The Creative Group, a temp-staffing company based in Menlo Park, Calif. "When composing e-mail, it's best to be brief and identify what action is needed at the beginning of the message."

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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