Grammar Grappler #17: The Tattletale of Email

When do you use bcc: appropriately?

  1. To secretly copy your boss or supervisor on coworkers’ communication
  2. To protect others’ email addresses
  3. To store email automatically in Human Resources records

Please scroll for the answer:























The answer is

2. To protect others’ email addresses

Regardless of popular opinion, bcc: is not the “tattletale of email.” Yet, sneaky people still use it as such. Bcc: stands for blind courtesy copy.

Used incorrectly, a sender may bcc: their immediate supervisor or boss when perhaps talking about another employee or a certain situation. The other party has no idea who has been blindly copied and may end up speaking too freely in an email without knowing who’s secretly reading it. Believe me, I’ve heard the horror stories.

Used correctly, however, bcc: protects people’s email addresses in mass mailings. For example, when sending a mass email to external contacts, you don’t wish to publicize all of those email addresses by typing them in the To: field. Rather, you type your own email address in the To: field and then send blind courtesy copies to everyone else.

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