Do You Know People Say “Reed” Receipt?

This may come as a shock.

Image: lil’_wiz

Last week I listened to the first couple minutes of The Cut’s “Sex Lives” podcast, which is my own business, and the episode was about text messaging. The Ringer’s Allison P. Davis was the guest. In the introduction, “Sex Lives” host Maureen O’Connor said she wanted to ask Allison to explain (and the following quote may come as a shock) “why she uses ‘reed’ receipts on all of her text messages, and how she uses that to manipulate the men she dates.” Uhhh…

“Reed” receipts. I’ve never considered this possibility. Have you? That I’ve never considered this possibility could be due either to a lack of curiosity or to the ability to put my mind to rest once it has reached a correct answer.


I asked people in various Slack chat rooms whether they said “reed” or “red” and here is what they said to me:

At a party later, which I do admit was the wrong venue, I asked two friends, Samer and Heather, whether they say “reed” or “red.” They both say “reed.” Incredible.

Those who say “reed” almost all admitted, eventually, that they do not know why they say “reed,” as “red” seems to make more grammatical sense. Mmhm. It’s a notice that your text message has been red. It tells you the time when your text message was red. It shows that the person with whom you are texting is either responsible enough or rude enough that they are comfortable sharing with you the exact time they red your text, or maybe they just forgot to turn them off, oh no.

Some “reed” sayers, however, like Awl and Hairpin editor Silvia Killingsworth, who allegedly attended an “ivy league” university, went down more kickingly than others:

Yeah all right Silvia, OK.

Yesterday I asked Google “how do you pronounce read receipt” and here is what it said immediately:

Goddamnit. Goddamn Mic already talked about this in December 2015. And also goddamn Select All talked about it around the same time. Those goddamn assholes.

Mic did a much more thorough job than I was going to do (or did they?) (maybe my job was going to be even more thorough) so I’m going to tell you what they found. Maybe you missed it, too; they published it around Christmastime. They found a video of former Apple executive and iOS creator Scott Forstall introducing the iMessage feature during a 2011 WWDC keynote address and, at the 1:12:20 mark, he says: “reed.”


Tech dunce.


So stupid.


Then Tim Cook fired Scott Forstall. In an interview about it with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Cook said:

But the thing that ties us all is we’re brought together by values. We want to do the right thing. We want to be honest and straightforward. We admit when we’re wrong and have the courage to change.

Oh, yes. Was he talking about how Scott Forstall reportedly refused to apologize for Apple Maps, or maybe, perhaps, was he talking about how Scott Forstall refused to apologize for saying “reed” instead of “red” during the video from before, which was wrong? Or was he not talking about Scott Forstall at all? Very hard to know what exactly goes on in a man’s mind but in my opinion it’s the one about read receipts.

Soooooooooooooooooooooo that’s the read receipts post.

It’s “read,” like red.