List ettiquette

Bruce Edmonds (
Thu, 19 Jun 1997 10:07:35 +0100

Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997 10:07:35 +0100
From: Bruce Edmonds <>
Subject: List ettiquette

Just a couple of notes about good ettiquette about using a mailing list.

1. Try to keep them short! The mailing list will reject mailings >
40000 bytes long (Aaron has just had a mail "bounced" for this reason).
Even antogonists in a debate will not be bothered to read overly long

2. Only quote strictly relevant parts of a preceding post. Do not just
merely quote the whole thing and intersperse comments.

3. When the subject changes, change the "subject" line, maybe adding
(was ...) after it.

4. Try to recapitulate threads into a coherent post every now and
then. Threads quickly degenerate if you try to use them as an
exponentially branching conversation.

5. Add blank lines and seperator lines ("-----" etc.) to make the posts
more readable.

6. A few posters have their mail compose window to wide so that the
mailing list software then mangles the lines and makes it even more
tedious to read.


Remember! Humans are *Very* rarely convinced by detailed argument!
Presenting coherent ideas and dealing with points of information is far
more effective. Generally only bad or old ideas do not have critics.


Bruce Edmonds,
Centre for Policy Modelling,
Manchester Metropolitan University, Aytoun Bldg.,
Aytoun St., Manchester, M1 3GH. UK.
Tel: +44 161 247 6479 Fax: +44 161 247 6802

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