Submitted by mikegreen on February 15, 2006

Should you sign the copy of a letter

If you have cc’s in a letter, when you mail it, should the “copy” be signed?


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Well, according to my high school secretarial course BEFORE there were computers, no. That is, you typed the letter with multiple actual CARBON PAPERS to make the CARBON COPIES which the cc STILL stands for even though nobody under 30 really knows what carbon paper is. The carbon copies were sent unsigned. In those dark days, if you had multiple addressees, you put signatures only on the copies to be treated as originals so you didn't have to type the same original multiple times.

These days we generally print one copy and sign it and the xerox that original to create the cc copies, so they usually go out signed but it is not an original signature.

Clear as mud, huh?

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This is, strictly speaking, an ettiquette question, not a language question, so I'll turn to the expert:

"Miss Manners votes for the blank signature space...In addition, she suggests circling the recipient's name on the 'cc' list in ink. Let us retain this quaint abbreviation even though these are no longer carbon copies."

--Judith Martin, "Miss Manners' Guide for the Turn-of-the-Millenium"

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Who can answer my question?

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Thank you for being generous with your resources... I hope that you will receive more than you need for your time and
energy. Keep at work!

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I need to CC two people on a letter I am writing. What is the correct method?

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