There's a new word in town, and it could be a game-changer as we head into these last few important weeks before the Word of the Year is selected by the American Dialect Society. They're still accepting nominations (#woty)! What is this word?
Replyallcalypse: Noun, used to mean the chaos that ensues upon an epic, devastating, truly apocalyptic case of replying to all.
It was coined by Ari Lipsitz, national editor at NYU's student-run news blog, NYU Local, to describe an event this week in which 39,979 students received a message from the university Bursar’s Office, and sophomore Max Wiseltier (a computer science minor, oops) responded to it, replying all. By accident. “I was trying to forward the message to my mom, to get her input on the paperless tax forms,” he later explained. Writes freshman Kelly Weill in an NYU Local post explaining the matter:
When Max went to forward the innocuously titled “Opting Out of the Paper Version of Your 1098T” to his mother, he had no idea that he was one fatal “reply all” away from NYU fame.
His accidental email and hasty apology triggered a rare, University-wide revelation: We simultaneously realized that any message, complaint, whim, link, video, or GIF could be sent to nearly 40,000 people in an instant.
Suffice it to say, things went nuts—"Suddenly granted an audience, another student voiced the immortal query, 'Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses, or 1 horse sized duck?'”—and then more nuts—an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live for Wiseltier, stories about the incident all over the Internet, and the world, and so on. Now it's transitioned into a handy anecdote for service pieces on how to use email.