FOM: suggestion for new convention
neilt at mercutio.cohums.ohio-state.edu
Wed Mar 24 08:16:02 EST 1999
I'd like to propose a new convention for fom postings, especially those longer
than a screen-depth on a small computer like a laptop. It is that they should
all begin with the declaration "This message is from NAME."
The reason is this. Many mailtools show the source of the message only as
fom at math.psu.edu, and do not reveal who the message is from. Thus one has to
scroll down to the very end in order to discover who sent it. If one is actively
following a thread of discussion, one can sometimes work out before reaching the
end who has sent it; but this is not always the case.
The main advantage of knowing in advance who has sent the message is that one can
situate oneself in the proper "dialectical constellation" when reading the
A secondary advantage is that one can rely on induction from past evidence in
ordr to determine whether to carry on reading.
Since everyone signs their messages at the end anyway, it seems reasonable to ask
them to sign at the beginning.
Because this message is shorter than a screen-depth,
I remain, Sir,
at the end,
PS Apologies for typo: for "coontribution" read "contribution"; for "ordr" read "order".
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