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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000328.txt from 2010/11

From: Tony Pay <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Jennifer's question
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 2010 02:45:39 -0500

On 20 Nov 2010, at 02:32, Jennifer Jones wrote:

> On Sun, Nov 14, 2010 at 11:30 AM, Keith Bowen <> wrote:
>> I think it was Tony Pay who was right ... but whatever, there was no intention to hurt you, Jennifer.
> Alas, "whatever" hurts too.

Hi Jennifer,

I understand you better after the post you wrote back to me. Thank you.

My own 'thing that hurts' is top-posting -- especially top-posting when it's mixed up with its opposite, which I don't think has a name. (Perhaps, 'quote-response'?) Anyhow, it's the technique I've used in the above.

On a mailing list -- as opposed to a business correspondence, where admittedly it has some sense -- I'd say that top-posting acts to confuse rational discussion. (I imagine it's also off-putting to people like Michelle Zukovsky who are trying to minimise the amount of email they receive, because of the noise it generates.)

Quote-response might be a bit of a nuisance to produce, because most people's mailers aren't sufficiently sophisticated. Even so, I think it's worth the effort.

I used to have a 'smart' text editor on the RISCOS operating system that automagically handled all the quote-levels and formatting; but unfortunately, despite some effort, I haven't managed to find a real equivalent on the Mac or Windows.

Actually, I'd say that the attitude of mind required for the production of an effective post is not unlike the attitude of mind required for the production of excellent musical performance. Both involve the stripping away of what isn't relevant to the argument, and the getting rid what is merely distracting to your audience.


Tony Pay
79 Southmoor Rd
Oxford OX2 6RE
tel/fax +44 1865 553339
mobile +44 7790 532980

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