Bottom vs. Top Posting (WAS: A Plea for sanity when posting to this list.)

Karl Hegbloom hegbloom at
Wed May 11 01:39:07 UTC 2005

On Sat, 2005-05-07 at 12:02 -0400, A1ex wrote:
> Don't you think that an optimum choice of posting style of your reply 
> depends on how the message you are replying to is written?

Yes, some of us know that.  A professional who does a lot of email based
communication will reply the way I am in this note, breaking the quoted
message and responding to each point in turn.  Paragraphs should be
separated by a blank line.

> [... on good writing ...]
> As for 'snipping' ---if the original message is still posted, why 
> subject the list readers to the entire message again?  What's wrong with 
> 'snipping' if it leaves the essentials in your reply, whether you are 
> responding to just one part of the original posting or all parts?

If you break a quoted paragraph in the middle, perhaps indicate that
with [... (your text paragraph) ...]; and if you delete a bunch of stuff
in the middle, put in a [...].  It is considered bad style to quote
parts of the message you are not responding to.

If you keep your paragraphs down to size and always break for a new
paragraph when you change the topic enough that someone might want to
reply to a point separately, then nobody will need to break them when
they quote you.

Never forget that every message you send will be archived and searchable
for years.  The better your communications look, the better you look.
In some companies, hiring managers are known to search the Internet for
postings in order to get an idea of what a potential employee's writing
skills are like.

Karl Hegbloom <hegbloom at>

More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list