How to Reply
A (reasonably) short primer

How to access the list's archives
Read about the Cleveland Park email list in The Washington Post

How to Reply: The Whole Story

By default replies now go to the person who posted the message, not the entire list. 
This rule applies only to those who receive messages individually.  If you receive messages via the daily digest, your reply will be addressed to the entire list.  Here are some suggestions and guidelines to help you know the best way to reply to a message from the Cleveland Park Email List:

How to reply to a message from the list (for those who receive individual messages):  By default, if you press “Reply,” your message will be addressed to the person who posted the message and not the list. If you believe your message is of interest to the whole list, then you should substitute the group’s email address,, for the individual’s address in the TO line or...

You can simply press "Reply to All," which will send your reply to the person who posted the message and to the entire list.  That’s a fast, simple way to get your message out to the entire list.  It will also go directly to the person whose message sparked your reply.  If you don’t want that person to receive the message twice, then you should delete the individual’s address from the TO: line,  leaving only the group’s address.

How to reply to a message from the list (for those who are on daily digest):  Whenever you hit “Reply,” your message will automatically be directed to the entire list.  The digest number will appear as the subject line, and the message box will be filled with the entire day’s digest.  These all present problems for others who receive the list in digest form.  Here’s what you need to do to correct these problems: 

First, you must delete everything from the message box except the text of the particular message that sparked your desire to respond.  To do that, you must highlight the day’s table of contents and all text preceding the relevant message to your reply, and then hit delete; then you must highlight everything that follows the relevant message, and hit delete again.  The moderators cannot edit all messages and may delete messages that contain the entire digest or need other major repairs.

Second, change the subject line from “Digest Number Whatever” to whatever your message is about. 

Third, and last, you must ask yourself, “Should this reply go to the entire list – with thousands of members – or is it best suited just to the individual?”  If you think the entire list would be interested, then go ahead and hit “send.” 

If you think your message is better suited to go to the individual, then you need to find the individual’s email address in the FROM: line of the original message.  If you don’t see it displayed, try doing a right-mouse-click over the name in the FROM: line.  That should pull up a short menu with the term “properties.”  When you click on “properties,” you should see the person’s email address revealed.  Copy it.  Now substitute that email address for the group’s address.

A Simpler Way to Reply (for those who receive the daily digest):  Think the above is too complicated?  Then forget it.  Just write your reply as if starting a brand-new message to the group.  Put in the TO: line of your message.  Go back to the digest and copy any lines of the original message that help to give context to your own message.  Paste them into the text box of your new message.  Write your reply.  Don’t forget to sign your name!

If you think your reply is better suited to the individual, follow the steps above for uncovering the email address of the person who posted the original message.  Copy and paste that email address into the TO: line of your message in response.  Send away!

How to reply if you access the list on the web:  If you read and send messages via, your default reply will be sent to the sender, just as it is for those who receive messages individually. (All list members, regardless of whether they receive individual messages or the daily digest, can access the list on the web and send messages from the web.)  To send your reply to the entire list, use the pull-down menu and select 

Not sure  whether your reply should go to the whole list or the individual?  Here are some examples to help guide you:

Reply to the Individual

Reply to the Whole List

“Well said!” or “I agree with what you said about …” “I agree with Steve’s message, but I’d like to add one more point….”
“Thanks for the recommendation of a roofer.” “I used the XYZ Roofing Company that was recommended here, and I must report, they were great!” (Or report if they were not so great)
“Jane, that was a great point you made at the ANC meeting last night.  Since I’ll be seeing you tomorrow at the committee meeting, let’s meet beforehand for coffee.” “Jane Doe raised a great point about the traffic situation on Porter Street at last night’s ANC meeting.  She suggested changing the timing of the light …”
“You asked for a recommendation of a gynecologist.  I recommend Dr. XYZ without reservation because of the sensitive way she handled my [extremely personal details of medical history]” “Dr. XYZ is a great gynecologist, capable of handling even the most complex cases with extraordinary skill and sensitivity.”
Here’s the name and home number of the high school girl who is looking for a few extra babysitting jobs.  When you call her, be sure to tell her that I recommended her. I’m a part-time nanny with 3 extra afternoons per week available.  Please email me off-list if you’re looking for someone with my qualifications.



Appendix to the (reasonably) short primer on replying

So when is an email exchange over?  Should a thread whittle down in size until the only content left in the messages are "Thanks" and "You're welcome"?  The short answer is that there's almost never a need to send a reply to the entire list that says "Thanks."  Not that people don't appreciate being thanked, but that thanking an individual and thanking over 1,800 people at the same time are two different things. 

It's perfectly fine for threads to end abruptly with no "closure."  When there's nothing left to say in a message exchange, the best thing is simply to say nothing.

For a useful guide to email etiquette, visit or
Cleveland Park Email List main page

Read about the Cleveland Park email list in The Washington Post
Stop pre-dawn noise
Visit the official Cleveland Park Store

PS:  You can delete your own messages:

If you make a post that you'd rather not have sent, you can delete that message from the list's archives.  Just go to  If your message was posted recently, you'll see it on the list's main page.  If not, then click on messages.  When your message appears, click on your message's subject, then click delete.  Your post will still be delivered to list members who get individual messages, but it won't appear on the website, and, if you acted swiftly enough, it won't appear in the daily digest.  One caveat:  You have to have a Yahoo ID to do this.  There's more information on how to get a Yahoo ID on this page.


How to Access the Archives of the Cleveland Park Email List

If you are a registered Yahoo user, with your own User ID and password, go to our home page at Check to see that you’re logged in. If you are, you’ll see the little Yahoo! Groups logo toward the top of your screen saying “Welcome,” followed by your Yahoo User Name. If not, you will see the words “Sign In” and “New User? Sign Up” next to the Yahoo! Groups logo, like this:

Sign In

Click on the “Sign In” link and enter your User Name and Password, and then return to

On the left side of the home page you will see a column of site links: Messages, Post, Chat, Files, Links, etc. Click on the highlighted word “Messages.” That takes you to a page of the most recent messages. At the top of the page are two search boxes, one for the message number (useful only if you know the number of the message you want to find), and another labeled “Search.” Type in the search term that you think will be most likely to pull up the message or messages you’re hoping to find.

Let’s say you want to find all past recommendations for plumbers. Your best bet is to type the word, plumb, which will bring up all recommendations for a plumber or for a plumbing company.

If you are looking for a message from a specific person, enter the part of the person’s name or email address that you’re sure would be in the message. Keep in mind that any misspelling will prevent you from finding the message. Try to avoid using very common search terms -- for example, if you type Sue in the search box, you will pull up hundreds and hundreds of messages, not just from every list member named Sue, but also messages about someone who sued someone, and messages with the words, issue, tissue, suet, and so on. Your best bet, in that case, would be to try to remember some part of Sue’s last name, or some specific word that you think might be in the message you’d like to find. Let’s say you’d like to find a recommendation for a babysitter named Sue. In that case, try typing babysitter. You might also want to click on the highlighted word “advanced” next to the search box: That takes you to an array of categories allowing you to refine your search.

Happy searching!

If you are not a registered Yahoo user, first you need to register with Yahoo and create your own unique User Name and Password. Not sure if you’re registered? Go to our homepage at and look for the YahooGroups logo at the top of your screen and beside it the words “Sign In” and under that, the words “New User? Sign Up”:

Yahoo! GroupsNew User? Sign Up

Click on the highlighted words, “Sign Up.” That takes you to an online form that you fill in to create your own Yahoo User Name and Password. It takes a few minutes to fill out the registration form. It’s free and relatively easy. The only tricky part is at the end when you’re shown some distorted letters and/or numbers and asked to retype them. Don’t worry if you get it wrong -- you can try again as many times as you need to. The retyping of letters is a protection against spam; without it, spammers could program their computers to join YahooGroups to harvest email addresses.

After you have submitted the registration form, go back to  Now follow the instructions on this page that begin: “If you are a registered Yahoo user…” Please note: The moderators cannot help you with any problems you may have in creating your own Yahoo User Name and Password -- this is personal and confidential to your Yahoo account; your best bet is to try the Yahoo Help link if you’re having trouble with that part of the process.

Vacation Settings

If you're going to be away from your computer for a while, you can temporarily change your list setting so that you receive only the daily digest or no messages at all. We call these options the "vacation mode."

To change your list status, just send a blank email to the appropriate address:

To change to the daily digest:
To change to web-only access:
To change to back individual messages:

If you use the web-only option, you won't get any messages at all. To access the list online, you need to go to When you return from vacation, remember to change things back to individual messages or the daily digest.

You can also modify your list status via the web at You can change your list status as often as you want. Yahoo's computers never tire, so feel free to switch back and forth whenever you desire.

If your email program has the ability to send vacation notices (the kind of message that says, "I'm out of the office until January 1st -- feel free to rob my house while I'm away"), we strongly suggest not using that function. Thousands of people on the Cleveland Park email list don't really need to know you're away.

A Bonus:

Some books about Washington, DC that we like:
Above Washington
Old Washington, DC in Early Photographs
Washington, DC Guidebook for Kids
The Unofficial Guide to Washington, DC
A Cartoon History of DC


To reach the Cleveland Park list moderators in an emergency call 202-986-9275 or send an email to the List Owner, whose address is at   Email emergencies are rare, but if you are reporting a hacker attack on the Cleveland Park email list, or need to send out an urgent message about crime or a lost animal and your message needs immediate approval, that constitutes an emergency.