LAST week I received an email at work beginning ‘Hey there’.

It was about a fundraising event to raise money for mental health charities, inspired by the death of a musician who is believed to have taken his own life.

Is ‘hey there’ an inappropriate way to begin such an email? I think not. It’s the sort of greeting that I’d expect to see on texts between teenagers, but not on an email between adults, especially about a sensitive subject.

The sender had not even signed off with his name, there was simply an initial, as though I knew, and was familiar with, him.

I can’t imagine sending an email to someone I had never met, and signing off ‘H’, as though I were an undercover Mr Big in the TV show Line of Duty.

It’s not the first time I have had emails with overly-chummy greetings. ‘Hiya Helen’ is a common one, more often than not followed by an exclamation mark. This verbal back-slapping is, to me, far too casual and informal.

My feelings, I am sure, are a generational thing. I was raised in a world without email, where we were taught to write letters beginning with the word ‘Dear’ and ending ‘Yours sincerely’ or ‘faithfully’, depending upon whether you knew their name.

Back then it was case of addressing someone in a businesslike way or a more personal, friendly manner. There was no in-between.

If you applied for a job and introduced yourself with the now commonly used ‘Hi’, your application form would have found its way into the nearest bin.

Now ‘Hi’ is widely recommended as one of the best ways to begin an email, whether formal or informal. If we are no long using ‘Dear’ - which is seen by many as stuffy - what’s wrong with plain old ‘Hello’?

I tend to stick to hello, although anyone born later than 1990 probably thinks it’s dull and boring.

I am pleased to note, though, that ‘good morning’ and ‘good afternoon’ are still popular introductions to emails.

My generation was raised to address people whose names you did not know as Sir or Madam, which is also now seen as quite stiff. First names are now the norm, maybe with a smiley face thrown in.

I never know how to respond to an emoji, which are totally alien to people my age, though clearly not to younger generations. A new study found that receiving them can make young people happier at their work.

In a study involving staff and students, Dr Ben Marder of the University of Edinburgh found that using smiley faces brought a more favourable response.

‘Although there is a very small drop in the perceived competence of a staff member if they use smileys, this is outweighed by the warmth they give off,’ Dr Marder concludes, adding that mixing emojis with normal messages will soon become more widespread.

He adds: “We tested it in general emails…and my impression is that it is suitable in the vast majority of communication situations.”

So, then, it’s only a matter of time before I receive an email beginning: ‘Yo, Hel…’ followed a message peppered with grinning yellow faces.

Personally, I think such additions should be confined to jokey messages between friends. I can’t think of any situation in which I would stick one on an email.

The study acknowledged that using a winking face was not a good idea - at least that’s a small step to preserving our dignity.

Electronic messaging has brought about a new language of snappy acronyms and cryptic abbreviations. But they still convey what sort of a person you are.

So anyone receiving an email from me will quickly deduce that I’m the wrong side of 55, old-fashioned, and probably not worth replying to.

*MILLENNIALS are turning to the kitchen to boost their mood, a survey commissioned by charity Help For Heroes has found.

Nearly a quarter of adults aged 18 to 24 said they baked to reduce stress. Twenty-six per cent of students felt it improved their mental health, and 14 per cent of those with full-time jobs said they benefited from it.

I wish I felt the same way. To me, baking is a time-consuming, tricky, STRESS-MAKING activity. Shopping for ingredients takes ages, then you have to measure it all, chop, mix, and bake, while all the time worrying about how it is going to turn out. For me, the result never quite matches up to the picture in the recipe book.

*TRAVELLING by train is up to 13 times more expensive than driving, with a return from London to Manchester costing £327 - nearly TEN times the £33.97 fuel bill.

A national newspaper compared 20 journeys around Britain at peak time, finding that in every case taking a car was cheaper.

I recently paid more than £120 for two return tickets to London. Driving, which we sometimes do, would have cost about £30. This should not be the case, particularly as we are supposed to be using greener forms of transport, yet rail fares rise every year. No wonder our roads are clogged.