[YAMos-dev] Re: 2 periods ("..") in subjects to this list

  • From: Allan Odgaard <duff@xxxxxxx>
  • To: yamos-dev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 13:21:57 +0200 (MEST)

On Sat, 25 May 2002, Jens Langner wrote:

> > Excuse me, but what is the point of pre- and postfixing subjects
> > with ".. "?
> Hehe. sorry if this is kinda annoying to you, but this is indeed something
> that I have invented ;-) Lets count it as my style of designing my emails,
> because I always start my subjects like this, because I mainly use the
> subject to kinda show some part of the stuff that I wrote within the email.

Despite my personal aversion toward Jakob Nielsen then he actually wrote a
good column about microcontent (i.e. subjects), here's the link:


And here's a summary:

Microcontent needs to be *pearls of clarity*: you get 40-60 characters to
explain your macrocontent. Unless the title or subject make it absolutely
clear what the page or email is about, users will never open it. [...]

This is really a must read for anyone who haven't already reached the same
conclusions and/or want me to read your letters when addressing me :-) I
actually deleted my sisters status report from her trip to Australia,
because she put "News from down-under" in the subject (that just had to be
spam! ;-) )

> And as you also use that periods to indicate that there is coming more, I
> also use that within a subject..

You're free to end with periods, if the subject is leaving out details
that can be found in the body. You can also add [JLanger] or similar
*behind* the subject -- my only request is, that the most value-holding
word be put first, without strange prefixes, especially not prefixes that
make me confuse it with other E-mails with which it has nothing in common.

> ;-) But perhaps Iam the most weird in here..

Well, I have friends who send me mails like this:

Subject: Do you wanna see the new
Body: Star Wars movie.

Not only does it render the subject useless (in my overview, when I look
at the 10+ new mails to decide if anything important has arrived), but
when I actually get to the letter in question, I tend to have forgotten
the subject (from the overview, 5 letters ago) and just think "WTF is he
talking about...", until I move my head up and read the headers.

Worse is if they include some question that generates a reply, then the
next letter will be "Re: Do you wanna see", but may actually contain
important information for later use (like an address), which is impossible
to find some weeks/months later, when I look through my archived mail,
searching for the letter that bares a subject that may reveal its content.

Yes, that's my life -- I know this may all seem hypocritical that I waste
the time of the entire mailinglist, telling about how I'd prefer to browse
effeciently through new mail... ;-)

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