Replying to messages

Murli rismurli at
Thu May 6 14:45:36 PDT 1999

Jeff, Don, all,

There is a happy medium, which I've found working very well on other lists
I manage/moderate.  This is to include only the relevant portions of the
message one is responding to.  Short snippets, that one might mark off
using chevrons, or something like:

...............blah blah blah .....


This involves modest additional effort, but improves communication

Also, after messages have been replied and re-replied several times, I tend
to chop off the oldest portions of the dialogue, since the dialogue often
wanders off from the initial message.  When this does happen, I remember to
change the "Subject" so that it properly reflects the current state of the

A better method -- in some ways  -- is to set up a threaded (hierarchically
indented) discussion on the web or via Usenet.  Disadvantages include: not
as simple and convenient as email, and hence, perhaps not universally
available or accessible.  Also it's not too difficult to abuse the threaded
structure so that it loses its key value.  I see more abuse than proper use
of threaded discussion structures.

So .....  for whatever it's worth ...


PS: The choicest punishment should be reserved for (and let me emphasize
that there are none such on this list) those who forward a joke or story
for the 200,000th time, creating a mile long message which consists almost
entirely of useless header fields.  Then again, such messages might be of
value to sociologists.

At 01:27 PM 5/6/99 -0800, you wrote:
>     Jeff, Just wanted you to know I heard you. I will delete the text of
>     the message I am responding to.
>     Don

Murli Nagasundaram, Ph.D., Assoc. Prof., Computer Information Systems
College of Business, Boise State University, Boise, ID 83725-1615, USA
vox: 208-426-3905; fax:(208) 426-1135  |  mailto:rismurli at
You can observe a lot just by watching.  -- Yogi Berra

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