Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(July 2002)

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Subject: off-list ripples, top-posting (was please dried plum this list)
From: "David W. Tamkin" <dattier @ ripco . com>
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 2002 09:54:35 -0500 (CDT)
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com (list-managers)
In-reply-to: <3D2549B1 . 6010008 @ queernet . org> from "Roger B.A. Klorese" at Jul 05, 2002 12:24:33 AM

Shannon Appelcline wrote ... something.

Hmm.  Several people responded to Shannon's post, but I never received it.

Roger Klorese wrote,

| I do, however, take pride in the fact that my "populist" lists have
| averted at least one suicide, freed many from abusive homes, and started
| lots of relationships.

You're more fortunate than I.  Two members of one of my lists met through it,
dated, and married.  She than un5u66ed on the grounds that they didn't need
two copies of every distribution; a few months later he sent an uncharacter-
istically caustic, vicious post that I had to kick out in moderating.  When
I asked him to rephrase the unacceptable passages, he left in a huff; I had
suspected since first receiving the abusive submission that his goal was to
have an excuse to stalk off in high dudgeon rather than un5u6scri6ing without
a scene.

In another post, which I've mistakenly deleted, Roger said how top-posting
was acceptable on many of the lists running on his service, because almost
none of the time do people have any reason to review the preceding message(s)
in the thread.  Like all arguments offered in favor of top-posting, that's
really an argument against quoting at all, isn't it?  Every defense of top-
posting I've ever seen has been the same: quoting the unedited entirety at
the top and inserting a short retort at the foot is even worse, so let's
pretend that that it is the only alternative, so that we can try to palm off
second-worst as best.  The possibilities of trimming and of not quoting at
all are always omitted.

Having no need for the quoted text is a reason to omit it.  Top-posters are
not rereading the quoted text as they compose, so they frequently say things
for which the quoted text doesn't even supply context: all the more reason to
delete it entirely.

The logic of "nobody wants or needs to read this, so let's take the space
and resources to put it over here" has always escaped me.

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