top and bottom posting

Avi Greenbury avismailinglistaccount at
Thu Sep 10 13:14:27 UTC 2009

On Wed, 09 Sep 2009 18:17:24 -0500
Andrew Farris <flyindragon1 at> wrote:

> > But in email, 99% of people tend to top post.
> if 99% of people decided right now, today, to go outside in their
> driveways and blow their own brains out, would you agree that the
> other 1% should do so as well?
> Extreme example, yes, but a justification of 'but everybody else does
> it this way' isn't a valid reason...especially on a linux users
> mailing list, where the the rest of the world does it 'the windows
> way', and we're the 1%

It's not really a valid analogy. Whether or not you blow your brains
out has no bearing on anyone else.

I live in a country where everyone drives on the left hand side of the
road for some often debated reason. If I decided that actually I want
to drive on the right because I prefer it, I'd irritate a lot of
people and not get very far. It's easiest for everyone for me to just
stick to driving on the left.

If I cross the channel, I find myself in a country where everyone
drives on the right. It's far easier to conform with that process, let
the systems work smoothly, and let everyone get on with doing whatever
it is they're doing without having to justify why they're doing it the
way they are than to decide that because where I'm used to we drive on
the left, I will do so here, too.

When I read an email, if I can't see both the beginning of the
pertinent text and some context in the preview window, I skip it,
irrespective of where either of those bits are in relation to each
My preference is for trimmed bottom-posting, but I don't have the time
nor the inclination to put too much effort into persuading people this
is the One True Way, or to put into deciphering muddles of top- and
bottom- posting.

> As you will note, I did not trim this email that I'm replying to...
> because I deemed it necessary to keep all the text of the message I'm
> replying to intact. This is not because I am lazy, or using
> Thunderbird (Thunderbird is NOT broken, it just works
> differently...Still I use Evolution) Most of the time though, I do
> trim my emails.

I do count 5 unnecessary linebreaks ;). 
And I consider Thunderbird broken. Either it's broken or difficult to
configure the way I want it to work. Which is the same thing, really.

> Either way...the problem then, is not bottom-posting, and the solution
> is not top-posting. The problem is people not trimming their emails,
> and the solution is getting them to trim their emails.


Avi Greenbury ;)

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