Many of us suddenly learned what the acronyms CC, CCO and FW stand for at the time when our inboxes were filled with endless chain emails (not even WhatsApp has spared us from that). Many others already made use of these fields in their professional field, or to meet with a group of friends. When we want to send the same email to several people, we can add their email addresses in the "To" field, or we can use the CC and the BCC. And with this gesture, we are recalling what our ancestors did when communicating ... more than a hundred years ago.
When writing an email or email, we are faced with its header. It usually contains four fields: To, CC, Bcc, and Subject. Obviously, in the "To" field we enter the email address of the recipient of our email. We can add as many addresses as we want.
The meaning of CC and Bcc comes from the times of handwriting
However, we have another option to send our email to different people. They are the CC and the CCO. The first (CC) stands for “With Copy”, but it was not called that when e-mail was invented. The original meaning of the acronym CC is "Carbon Copy", and refers to a practice older than the Internet itself.CC refers to the times when mail was written by hand or typewriter. To obtain an instant copy of the letter, two sheets were used. Between them a tracing paper or carbon paper was placed. It consisted of a very thin sheet that had deposited a layer of carbon or ink. Thanks to the pressure of writing, the words were transferred from the first page to the second. In this way, it is as if when sending the same email to different recipients, we were sending copies obtained with carbon paper from an original letter.
The acronym CCO has the same origin. Today, BCC means "With Hidden Copy", but originally it meant "Hidden Carbon Copy". It is used to send a message to more than one recipient, and to hide their addresses from other people who will read the email. CCO referred to a third sheet that was placed after the writing, with its corresponding carbon paper. The copy obtained was not intended for the archive, which is publicly accessible, but for private purposes. Or what is the same, hidden.
Although the typewriter was standardized and popularized in the early 20th century, the use of tracing paper or carbon paper dates back to the 19th century. When the Internet and e-mail appeared, computers dominated offices, but typewriters were still in use. This helped to keep the CC and BCC terminology, despite the fact that carbon paper had not been used for some time, thanks to photocopiers and carbonless paper.
The acronym CC is maintained in English, French and Italian. That is, "Carbon Copy", "Copy Carbone" and "Conoscenza Copy" . In the case of CCO, one of the acronyms changes respectively. Thus, in English we have “BCC” (Blind Carbon Copy), in French “CCI” (Invisible Carbon Copy) and in Italian “CCN” (Conoscenza Nascosta Copy).
FW, FYI, RE and other acronyms typical of email
The meaning of FW does not have such romantic origins. FW is the acronym for the English word “Forward”, which means “Forward”. It appears in the "Subject" box automatically when we press the Forward button in an email. Thus, the recipient knows that we have forwarded the email as we received it. Depending on where we have our email hosted, either FWD or RV may appear. Its meaning is the same, "Forward".
It might seem that RE also means "Forward", but no. RE stands for "Reply", and it appears automatically in the "Subject" field when we reply to a message by clicking on the corresponding button.
On occasion, we may receive emails headed with the initials FYI, which stands for "For Your Information. We can translate it as "For Your Information" or "For Your Information". They are added when the email contains merely informative text. The recipient is not expected to reply to the sender in any way.
The acronym PTC is typical of emails sent by advertising companies. PTC stands for "Paid To Click", or what is the same, "Pay Per Click". There are companies that pay a small amount of money to users to see advertising.
Finally, ASAP refers to the English expression “As Soon As Posible”, which means “As soon as possible”. They are often used to express the need for a quick response from the recipient.