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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Reply to All

Perhaps the most common social professional mistake in our world is hitting "reply all" and sending a message to many colleagues that was only intended for one.  I used to do it a lot before switching to Gmail, which has the safeguard of requiring the use of a drop down menu to work "Reply to All" (unless you have  set the default the other way).   But on the Blackberry, which I am typically operating in one hand while doing something else with the other, it still happens from time to time.

Fortunately, I've never had a major debacle happen (unlike, for instance,  a colleague at another law school, who sent the the grades  of the students in his class to a large group of people).        But I have thought occasionally that it would be nice to have a warning pop up every time one tries to hit "Reply  to All":  "Do you REALLY want to reach all these folks?"  (Apparently something like that is available for Outlook. ) 

But my plea is for a little tolerance and understanding of this faux pas on the part of the unintended recipients.  We are all emailing at breakneck pace, usually on several different devices and often different accounts in the same day.   It's going to happen sometimes.

I'll share a secret (which therefore isn't a secret):  I enjoy reading these misdirected messages not because I take pleasure in the embarassment of the senders (I feel for them) but because of the little windows they give into the lives of people I usually only see at faculty workshops or pass hastily in the corridor.  It's time to get to work on a new novel...


Posted by Rob Howse on October 3, 2012 at 10:56 AM | Permalink


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Gmail also has a nifty "undo" feature that allows you to yank back emails if you catch mistakes within a couple of seconds. I've found it useful on more than one occasion.


Posted by: Andrew H. | Oct 3, 2012 7:24:44 PM

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