A one word article was the shortest ever published in the New York Times. The title: “When I’m Mistakenly Put on an Email Chain, Should I Hit ‘Reply All’ Asking to Be Removed?” The entire article: “No.”

A Short Story About the Shortest Story to Ever Run in The New York Times (Which Ran in the Print Edition Last Friday)

An article that appeared in Friday’s edition of The New York Times has the distinction of being the shortest article in the history of the publication.

The article, by Daniel Victor, read in its entirety: “No.”

The meaning of the piece was provided by its headline, which read: “When I’m Mistakenly Put on an Email Chain, Should I Hit ‘Reply All’ Asking to Be Removed?”

The story appeared in the paper’s business section, with the text supplemented by a considerable amount of white space. A tag at the end of the story read: “The New York Times’s internal email system contributed to this report.”

Victor wrote a follow-up story explaining the original story, in which he noted that it began when an email thread going around the new… Continue Reading (2 minute read)

13 thoughts on “A one word article was the shortest ever published in the New York Times. The title: “When I’m Mistakenly Put on an Email Chain, Should I Hit ‘Reply All’ Asking to Be Removed?” The entire article: “No.””

  1. mike_b_nimble

    I’ll never forget the day it happened at my work. Someone accidentally emailed the whole company. The entire day was everyone’s inbox blowing up from people asking to be removed or higher-ups explaining that the thread would die if people will stop asking to be removed. By mid-day the chain had over 500 replies, but it would have only been a single email if people hadn’t asked to be removed.

  2. Simon_Drake

    I once emailed a mailing list for the finance team instead of the shared mailbox for the finance team – the correct email address wasn’t clear and I apologised for not knowing in my email.

    I got an angry email from the head of finance complaining it was distracting and a waste of everyone’s time. However, he did Reply-To-All which compounded the issue, he also didn’t tell me the correct email address or tell me how to get my purchase order approved.

    What a dick.

    So I pressed Reply-To-All asking for clarification.

  3. darelphilip

    I work at one of the larger banks with 6k employees in my city . can’t forget the day when on probably her first day at work an employee messaged the transport department to arrange for a cab and cc’d a distribution list which included everyone in the firm in my city. She probably confused the DL of her team with the entire org since both started with the city name.

    Fun begins, we know that X person wants to board the cab at y hour to z destination.

    Transport (cc to firm intact) : its late in the night, would you require security

    X(cc intact) : yea sure, my area is kinda secluded

    Random person (cc intact) : god bless that you reach safely

    X (cc intact) : i have boarded now with the security personnel and on the way

    Literally the whole org sat down with virtual popcorn to know until the point she reached home.

    Best day ever

  4. zebra_boobjob

    When I worked for an insurance company, someone accidentally sent a memo to the entire company… which has offices worldwide.

    There are 3 groups of people:
    1. The replies sent Reply All saying “please remove me”.
    2. The counter emails of “Don’t REPLY ALL”.
    3. And the even funnier, “DON’T REPLY ALL TO SAY DONT REPLY TO ALL!!!”

    After 2 hours the servers crashes and IT took our email offline to do a reset. But, then THE NEXT DAY, when workers who were out of office came in, it started again! IT rebooted us, but literally every few days for the next month when people returned from vacation, it would start again.

  5. robottoe

    Happened to before.
    Why do people need to feel so entitled as if you’re not the correct person in the list. Got about 2000+ replies on it as people are asking to be removed and another half asking them to stop friggin reply all.
    C’mon, there’s an ignore button in Outlook specifically built for this type of situation.

  6. John_Tacos

    My university had this happen my freshman year. Some glitch temporarily allowed reply all to emails that went to all students. The first wave were people joking (saying hi, or how big of a glitch it was), the second wave were people telling others to stop replying, the third was people pointing out that the people telling others to stop replying were the only ones replying. After that I guess the IT department fixed the glitch.

  7. TheyreGoodDogsBrent

    A little different but I was on a listserv for announcements and stuff that contained basically the entire faculty and staff of an R1 university, literally tens of thousands of people. Those kinds of lists are supposed to be locked against any replies, but apparently it wasn’t set up properly.

    One person replied all and it set off an avalanche of people asking to be removed. Literally hundreds of emails per hour. The worst is that there were instructions right in the footer of the email telling people how to remove themselves.

  8. ThereIsNorWay

    When my family is going on about something on a group text that I’m not really involved in, I like to text “Unsuscribe”. Always goes over well.

  9. discreet1

    They printed that because it happened there and for hours emails were coming from all over the world to “remove me”. Every person who had a .nytimes email address and all the freelancers was getting the emails. Thousands of people.

  10. Boozdeuvash

    I worked at a Fortune 50 financial company and it happened, some mis-configured email group with all employees that didnt restrict who could send an email. Exchange server ground to a halt in like 10 minutes, nothing was getting done anymore, except for the guys with Bloomberg terminals thankfully… By t+30 minutes we had a panicked managing director on the phone who was frantically asking anyone with Exchange experience on how to selectively nuke a 5-million email queue in less than an hour, because the COO had asked him to do so or else.

    Fun day at the office.

  11. N1cklus

    This happens once every couple months at my job. I usually just set up a filter to have the emails go to a seperate folder and casually check throughout the day for a good laugh.

  12. bloodstreamcity

    I read one just like this the other day. The article was called something like, “Now That HBO Max is on Fire TV, Is it Available on Roku?” So I clicked on it, and the article just read, “Nope.”

  13. dinosore

    The best is when you get several people replying all to tell everyone that the message was sent in error and they shouldn’t be using reply all.

Leave a Comment