[access-uk] Replying to Messages

  • From: Brendan Magill <brendan@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Access-uk <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 26 May 2007 15:25:55 +0100

Hi everyone,

I'm not a Moderator of the Access-UK list, so what follows is my own personal opinion, given as a member of the list.

Although I'm not one of the more active posters to this list, I do read quite a bit of what's posted here. I've been reading a good deal of what's been written in the Top Posting thread.

My own view is that there are far too many replies and far too many quotes too. These two aspects of using a list are closely linked together and both have an impact way beyond the message sender.

Looking at replies first, I've expressed the view before that there are far too many of these. There are several list members who almost automatically appear to hit Reply on each individual message in their inbox, rather than reading all the messages in a thread and then writing one composite reply. This creates an unnecessarily high number of postings and makes it more difficult to follow the thread.

Quoting is, in my opinion, also greatly over-used. Why is it necessary to quote previous messages every time? Yes, there are times when it is appropriate, but to do it every time simply does not add anything to discussions. It would be perfectly reasonable to refer to specific points raised in others' postings in any new posting.

The combination of multiple replies and excessive use of quotes vastly increases network traffic and increases the amount of trash we all have. There are quite a few people who still use modems, for whom the extra numbers of messages and the increasing size of them as quotes grow mean that downloading takes longer. Also, because only certain previous postings are included in any quotation in a reply, only certain aspects of the thread are replicated; this can lead to confusion for the reader.

I would therefore urge everyone to write composite replies and to minimize their use of quotes in their replies. If you want to comment on something that has been said by someone else, it shouldn't be too difficult to identify the detail in your reply.

Sorry if anyone feels offended by any of this, but these two aspects of Access-UK list usage annoy me every time I look at my inbox.



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