It’s all a lie

Three cheers for the first email client with the cojones to remove it from their UI entirely.

2 responses to “It’s all a lie”

  1. Cc or Carbon Copy is not supposed to be used for sending email to others. It’s so they are alerted to the conversation, a “copy” of a letter so to speak. If it was for them you would add their name to the “To” list. If you want to copy someone but not let others know it’s Blind Carbon Copy to the rescue. Just an old formal way of letter writing that made it’s way into the modern world. Kinda like the save icon is always a floppy disc.

    Just my 2 cents…. 👈 See what I did there?

  2. I was surprised to find not long ago after nearly 30 years of using email there is an (unwritten?) etiquette to use of CC. I learned this from an ex-IBM programme manager, highly trained in the dark arts of corporate politics. In short:

    – If you are in the TO list, this is a signal you need to pay attention to the message. In modern parlance, you probably need to action it in some way. It’s a CTA.

    – If you are in the CC list, it means you can safely ignore it. It’s a “nice to know” not “need to know”. A courtesy FYI. About as weighty in expectation as a random tweet. No action necessary.

    So, depending on who the recipient is and their interpretation of TO v CC, it could have a very real impact. I discovered this to my cost having CC’d this manager on a longish and important thread. When it transpired some weeks later that he hadn’t seen any of it, only for me to retort, “But I CC’d you!”, he explained the above.

    So beware: dismissing the CC as having no impact might get you in hot water. At the very extremes, some people so overloaded with email might even filter CC messages to a special folder they hardly ever read, or even to the bin.

    But since knowing this, I’ve found it to be a useful mental model and a subtly satisfying feature of email. Other messaging systems don’t have this subtetly. You’re either tagged in or not. You have to figure out for yourself if the message is nice-to-know or need-to-know and requiring of further action. The closest analog I’ve seen is the new Participation Types in Basecamp 4 (

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: