quote properly (here's the internet-police)

Steve Hayashi sth at andrew.cmu.edu
Sat Jan 20 14:20:25 PST 2001


On Sat, 20 Jan 2001, Donnie Roos wrote:
> >Since when it there a "proper" way to quote.
> 
> Since forever. Used on Usenet, fido-net and email-lists for ages.
> It's based on RealLife. You write a reply-letter or talk on a
> point to point basis. If someone says something and gives four
> reasons in favour of his argument do you just start blabbering
> a story or would you give counter-arguments for each of his
> arguments?

That depends really, on what sort of arguments they give, doesn't
it?  Personally, I find it easier to read what people have to say at the
beginning.  That way, if I'm following a thread, I don't have to scroll
through someone else's quotes just to read what they said.  I'm doing this
now to appease your personal request (since you did start this thread).

Counter arguments don't always require quotes.  Many lawyers and
politicians do this all the time.  Often, I leave the most significant
quote after my signature (which is just a dash with my name), that way, if
someone starts reading the thread in the middle, they'll have a clearer
picture as to the entirety of what I'm talking about.

Also having been on usenet for several years, I have no idea what you're
talking about as a proper way to quote.  So long as we get our point (or
flame) across, we've accomplished are goal.  I've never read a post
complaining about how someone else quotes.

> > Maybe I don't like doing it the way you do.
> 
> You don't have to. But there are many subscribers to these lists.
> Therefore many people will read your message. It is just polite
> to include only minimal text. Don't waste people's time trying
> to figure out who said what. It really starts getting important
> when your on a 3rd or fourth reply when discussing with multiple
> people.

I still think that if someone is following a thread, it's easier if the
entire message is at the top, rather than forcing them to parse through
it.  Besides, my mailing program (pine) seems to put the quote AFTER the
signature.

> >It would do alot more good to cut down on the useless
> >chatter and holy wars.  (Even thought I'm not following my own advice
> >here, I haven't been involved in the many other lately.)
> 
> There hasn't been a holy war I quite some time. If there has been
> I have missed it or I still need to read it (need to catch up)

This thread sounds like the premonition of a holy war to me.

> And I don't consider my post to be the start of an holy war.
> Maybe it will get a bit warmer but we shall not be burned by
> flames :-)

Yeah yeah yeah, that's what they all say......  =-)

-Steve



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