Pet Peeve: Reply all

My opinion:

When one person writes an email inviting 30 or 40 people to provide feedback, it would be entirely acceptable for those people to provide the feedback directly to the author by hitting “reply” and let the author decide if they want to compile the responses and share them with the original group.

It is entirely unnecessary for each of those people to use “Reply All” to say something like

“looks good!”


“I would reword the second sentence of the 14th paragraph to eliminate the word “and””

thus clogging up the in-boxes of everyone concerned.


You would be amazed at how many of my coworkers do this.

I do not need to know if they will be at a certain meeting or if they have submitted all their receipts for the month to Finance.

It’s just thoughtless in my mind.  Nine times out of ten, it is unneeded.  And thus, that tenth time, I am likely to miss the important thing that is being shared with the group.


Done venting. Thanks for listening.






23 thoughts on “Pet Peeve: Reply all”

  1. I really couldn’t like this more. We have a campus wide email list in which those involved in research might email the entire campus in order to find lab supplies they’ve run out of, or other requests to this extent. Those emails are bad enough, but when you get an email like “Does any lab on campus have X media” and then multiple people across campus reply all with the answer “no.” I get so full of white hot rage.

  2. I know!! Happens here all the time.
    The “reply all” button should be disabled on all systems, and you can only “reply all” if you go a very long route to get to get send option. 🙂

  3. My favorite is when somebody accidentally hits “reply all” and then sends a personal message. We had a husband/wife pair on campus where the wife sent, by mistake, a pretty racy message to her husband, and we all go to read it!

  4. The minute I open a “group message’, I feel panic. My goal this winter was to write more letters, “reply all” in the little space I occupy ( here in the computer world) feels like going in the other direction.

  5. The reply all option should come up with a warning box saying “do you really want to do this” before sending. After seeing a manager get fired for hitting reply all and making crude remarks about a person referenced in the email whom he thought was only going to the sender broke the cycle at my job several years ago.

  6. Now that I’m engaging in work that includes others than just meself, at the library, I’m seeing more of this – sometimes, it’s good, as the info ‘replied’ rather keeps the whole group informed of evolving plans – Other times, my inner Life Narrator runs rather along the lines of, “Um…okey-dokey – did you hit the wrong “choice of reply”? Are you aware there is a Reply AND a Reply to All option available? Are you in a hurry? Are you down and just need some extra love and support via a, “good for you! congrats on doing/thinking/comin’ up with that idea? WHAT?!? WTFrick IS IT?!?!?

    Thus, I usually just ignore and file away, unless specifically asked a question – – LOL

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