Saturday, September 26, 2009


I've noticed an interesting trend in email. Lately I've seen a lot of emails like this:
From: Somebody
To: a bunch of people
Subject: something important

Hi all,

blah blah blah
or this:
From: Some dude
To: more people than probably necessary
Subject: (something vague)


mumble mumble...
or maybe this:
From: Another person
To: a mailing list
Subject: Proposal

Dear All,

I'd like to propose...
The use of "all" to address a group seems to be increasing. I'm not sure if it's actually becoming more common, or if I just perceive it that way because I'm in a new environment (work). Either way, every time I see someone address an email to "all", it just looks weird. It seems like we (the English speaking world) have developed more natural, time-tested ways to address everyone—like, well, "everyone". Or "everybody". Or even "y'all" (which can become quite natural if you live in Texas for a while). But "all"? That's just awkward.

(On a slightly related note, someone at work yesterday sent an email to an internal mailing list addressed "To Whom It May Concern". Seriously?!? The 1700's ended a while ago.)

1 comment:

amanda said...

hehe. to whom it may concern: it does sound pretty funny.