Last updateFri, 07 Aug 2020 12pm

Email sending protocols: deciphering ‘CC’, ‘BCC’, ‘TO’

It is always a pleasure for me to answer questions received from readers because sometimes the question necessitates me having to stop and think about things I have done for so long that they have become automatic.

Such is the case with typing on a manual typewriter, a skill I learned while still in elementary school more than a half-century ago.  While it has now been decades since the last time I touched a typewriter, the skill of typing I learned years ago is one I use every day, and the rules I was taught in school still apply today.

In typing class I was taught that there was a correct protocol for doing certain things.  In those days there was a thing called carbon paper, a sheet of dry-ink-impregnated paper that would be placed between two pieces of paper before feeding the sandwich into the typewriter.  The pressure from the typewriter keys striking on the first piece of paper would push the ink from the carbon paper down onto the second piece of paper, producing an additional copy of the document.

When typing correspondence, the correct protocol was to type “CC John Jones” at the bottom of the letter to denote that John Jones had received the carbon copy.  This way the person receiving the original copy of the letter could clearly see that John had received a copy.


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