BALTIMORE SUN -- Sept 25 -- When Dinah Larson was single, she and a friend used to read e-mails from guys and decide if they were potential dates based on their e-mailing ability. "If he wrote like he talked, and was funny? An e-mail is a first impression, like a first date face-to-face. Match.com advises members not to stay in the e-mail stage for long. "Just because it's online dating doesn't mean you're dating online," Kathleen Roldan says. Here are some suggestions: 1. Write the way you talk. Read it aloud to see if it sounds like you. 2. Be clever but not cute. 3. Be plain-spoken, but not stilted. 4. If it's early in the relationship, keep e-mails short. 5. Punctuation and grammar matter. 6. Remember that tone doesn't always translate. 7. Use emoticons and IM acronyms like LOL sparingly.