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Is It CC’d or CC’ed (Explained: All You Need To Know)

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Is it CC’d or CC’ed?

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Is It CC’d or CC’ed

We send and receive countless emails on a daily basis.

We can send an email to someone or put them on CC…

What does CC mean?

Well, CC is short for “carbon copied” which means that you are sending an email to a person so they are “copied” on an email so they are aware of the communication but do not have to take any action.

In business writing, when you carbon copy someone, should you say that you cc’d that person or cc’ed?

Technically speaking, in proper English neither CC’d or CC’ed are correct.

CC’d and CC’ed are slang terms used to refer to someone being carbon copied (in the past tense).

By using CC’d or CC’ed, you are essentially turning a verb (carbon copy) into a non-existent contraction.

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Origin of CC

Why do we use “CC” in emails?

A long time ago, before photocopy machines were invented, we created a copy of a document or form using a thin cellophane sheet placed between the leaves of paper.

By writing on the surface of the paper, you would create a duplicate image of your writing on the sheet below.

We used to call the copy a “carbon copy” of the document.

Now, with the introduction of the Internet and emails, we continue to use the “carbon copy” idea to indicate that someone is “copied” on an email.

That’s why you always see a “To” field and a “CC” field in emails where you send an email to the person in the “To” field and you give a copy of the email to the person in “CC”.

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Debate In Using CC’d or CC’ed

Currently, there is a debate in the English writing community whether or not CC’d or CC’ed should be used.

Traditional English writers indicate that we should not use CC’d or CC’ed as they are contractions that do not exist in English.

On the other hand, many use CC’d and CC’ed in their communications and are properly understood.

In fact, many argue that the term “carbon copy” or “carbon copied” is almost never used in ordinary business communications.

From my perspective, there’s merit on both sides.

I think that in the modern age, it should be fine to use CC’d or CC’ed in a regular business email or communication without stressing too much over it.

However, if you’re writing something formal, I would avoid using the carbon copy contraction to ensure your writing remains as professional as possible.

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Using CC’d or CC’ed In A Sentence

In modern times, we may regularly send others a copy of an email by putting them on CC.

So, if you want to say that you “carbon copied” someone in a sentence (in the past tense), can you say you “cc’d” or “cc’ed” someone?

The proper answer is that you cannot say “cc’d” or “cc’ed” as you are turning a verb into a contraction that does not exist.

However, in modern times, you will probably never see anyone write out “carbon copied” in a sentence.

So, even though it’s not proper English to use CC’d or CC’ed in a sentence, you can use it as slang in your sentence.

However, in formal writing, you should not use CC’d or CC’ed as it is not proper.

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Examples of CC’d And CC’ed

Let’s look at a few examples of how CC’d and CC’ed are used in business writing:

  • The CEO sent an email to the COO and cc’d the board member
  • My boss is always cc’ed on all emails I send
  • Mary cc’d her friend when booking the trip
  • The plaintiff sent the notice of claim and cc’ed her attorney

We are using cc’d or cc’ed in these sentences that are meant to be written in more informal situations, such as colleagues speaking to one another or friends writing to one another.

If you are writing a formal letter or communication, you should use the past tense of “carbon copy” to ensure you are writing proper English.

For example, you should say:

  • The insurance company investigator issued his report and carbon copied the insured

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Other Ways To Use CC In Past Tense

So far, we have talked about using the new verb carbon copy in the past tense by writing cc’d or cc’ed.

You may see some people use another contraction to say the same thing.

Can you guess?

In addition to cc’d or cc’ed, some may use “CCd” where the “CC” is in capital and does not have an apostrophe.

Some may use CC-ed where they use CC in capital and separate the “ed” with a hyphen.

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Business and law blog

Takeaways 

So there you have it folks!

Is it CC’d or CC’ed in an email?

In a nutshell, although there’s a debate whether or not CC’d or CC’ed should be used in English, we can say that it’s acceptable in non-formal writings but should be avoided in formal communications.

In essence, when you write CC’d or CC’ed, you are writing “carbon copy” in the past tense using a contraction that does not exist.

However, in modern times, most people will use CC’d or CC’ed in their email communications, and very rarely will someone write out “carbon copied” in full.

Now that you know what CC’d and CC’ed mean and how to use them, good luck with your writing!

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Author

Amir K.
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer by trade and an entrepreneur by spirit. I specialize in law, business, marketing, and technology (and I love it!). I'm also an expert SEO and content marketer. On this blog, I share my experience, knowledge, and provide you with golden nuggets of useful information. Enjoy! Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

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