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Archiver > CFT-WIN > 2000-11 > 0974185508

From: "Listowner" <>
Subject: [CFTW] Quoting back Entire Posts when Replying (Please Don't Do It!!!!!)
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2000 02:05:08 -0500

Folks, I haven't posted a notice on this subject in some time and I
guess it's about time to do it again.

Most users of these Lists know by now that when they reply to a
post, they should quote back ONLY enough of the original post to
identify it and its subject; however, as new users join us every day,
some of them just are not aware they should trim down replies so
that they don't contain all the original messages. Nothing is more
aggravating to users than to see a very long post, THEN to see users
reply back with a line or two of comment, AND ALL of the original


Usually, including the first 2 or 3 lines of an email is all that is needed
to allow others to see what is being responded to.

For "newbies" (not a pejorative term, I assure you), who may be
new to using a computer, there are some tips and tricks that will
make things easier for you. Now, in different email programs, it
will require different techniques to rid a reply of most of the
original post; however, some basic techniques will help.

To "highlight" text in a message (or in ANY document, for that
matter), put the mouse cursor at the BEGINNING of the text you
wish to highlight. While holding down the LEFT mouse button,
"drag" the cursor to the end of the text you want highlighted, and
release the mouse button. Your chosen text will be highlighted.

Now, you can do several things with that text. If you hit the
DELETE key, the text will disappear. If you hit CTRL+C, you
will copy the text into your Windows Clip Board. The text in
the Clip Board can be inserted into another document, email, etc.,
by placing the mouse cursor at the spot where you want it
inserted, left-clicking once, and then hitting CTRL+V. That
will "paste" the Clip Board text where you want it.

In some email programs, such as Eudora, if you highlight text
before clicking on the "Reply" button, the reply will contain
ONLY that highlighted text. In other email programs, you have
to hit "Reply" first, then highlight unwanted text and deleting
it. No matter HOW you do it, you should NOT quote back
all of an original post, unless it is very short, 3 or 4 lines, AND
you feel it is important to quote all of it.

In the past, I have posted "Keyboard Shortcuts" for Windows to
these Lists, for use by new computer users. CTRL+C and
CTRL+V are only two of the many, many shortcuts that you
can use in virtually any Windows program/utility. If any of
you are "newbies" and want me to post again, I will. Just let
me know.

Just for the record, the REASONS for not quoting back entire
original text are many.

1) One is that many users just get tired of having to download
long emails with a few dozen words of new text. Some users
STILL pay for their server connections by the minutes/hours
of usage each month. For them, downloading long, useless
text is expensive.
2) Sending emails with unnecessary verbiage causes more load
on the "pipelines" of the net/web.
3) Since all posts to these Lists are "Archived" at Rootsweb,
that means it takes up unnecessary disk space on Rootsweb's
4) Many users subscribe to these Lists in the Digest Mode.
That means they don't receive each email as it is posted at
Rootsweb; instead, they receive a Digest which contains
several posts in one email. For those Digest subscribers who
want to print out Digests, it either wastes paper and ink to
print unnecessary text, OR they have to highlight and delete
lots and lots of text BEFORE printing.
5) Many users, such as I, save all List emails on our home
computers for future reference. If an original post was, say,
10,000 bytes in size, and a user replies to it with one line of
new text, such as, "I agree", or "Thank you", or whatever, it
means that when we save the reply, we are having to store
10,000 bytes of absolutely unnecessary text. Multiple that
by several emails a day for some of these Lists, and multiply
that by 2 or 3 dozen Lists, and you can see how it starts to
add up month after month.

One last pet peeve of mine: a user posts a very long email, say
10,000 bytes in length; another user replies, including all of the
original post; another user replies to the reply and includes all
of the replier's text AND the original text; another user replies
to that, and so on. Can you see how absolutely ugly such
replies to replies to replies to original posts are? Yes, I know
SOME of us are so busy we don't (or don't WANT to) have the
time to format emails correctly. I manage 21 Mailing Lists at
Rootsweb; I subscribe to another 2 or 3 dozen; I receive at
least 2 dozen personal emails daily; I reply to probably 25-
50 emails daily; yet, I have the time to highlight and delete
as needed. So can anyone else have the time - all that is
necessary is for you to TAKE the time.

I know this is a rather long notice; however, this subject is
one of the most aggravating for Listowners and users. It's
not something we should HAVE to live with, since it can be
corrected. All it takes is for the knowledge to be spread and
for the recipients to have the courtesy to comply. Let's all
do our part to cut down on unnecessary text in emails. What

George W. Durman

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