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re: List flames & Quoted material

Paul Sears' suggestion about waiting 24 hours before posting is an
excellent one (sometimes you would think this is Fish Emergency List). Mine
is aimed at heading off flames before they start. We have a purely written
medium without benefit of voice inflection and facial expressions. When
questioning someone's facts or ideas, it pays to do so politely by making a
little effort to convey that you are challenging or questioning the facts.
Otherwise it's very for the poster to take these comments with the worst
possible reading, which can be an unintentionally snide or off-putting one.
In cases where you specifically want to criticise (and can't do it
off-list), I think it can be done without name-calling. (One reason flame
wars ignite is that *you* are perfectly happy having the last word and
ending the dispute with your post; ditto for the other guy.)

                                     * * *

I have a request that we not quote entire posts of any length. It will
reduce the size of the digests if we either briefly summarize the post we
are responding to, or quote small portions. This will reduce archive space
and digest download times. It would also make reading posts more enjoyable
IMO. Otherwise you have to skim the entire original quoted message to find
the question or the portion that is being addressed. The subject header
serves not only to help folks follow a thread and decide what to read, but
also to locate the original. I think we would be surprised at the amount of
redundant text we send around. "Paganini non ripete!"

My two liras,
Jared (still contemplating the "Bullshit_Detector at bigassweb_com" address
just posted)
Jared Weinberger                    jweinberger at knology_net  
______    http://www.knology.net/~jweinberger/     ________