On Fri, Aug 19, 2005 at 12:38:17PM -0400, John Manko wrote:
> What's the big deal? Is top posting bad posting practice?
Now, I speak from folklore, as I am too young to personally experience
the phenomenon, but the story goes like this:
In the ancient times, all was good. Men were men, women were women,
small furry creatures from alpha centauri were small furry creatures
from alpha centauri.
There was, then, usenet.
Men were good on usenet back then. (there weren't women). People
posted cordially, but flamed when necessary. And most important of
all, because usenet is like multiplayer email, to keep everything in
perspective, people posted while quoting the posts they reply to.
And specific questions were answered by specific answers set in a
style similar to what we see on FAQs.
And then AOL happened.
The default client in AOL quotes the entire parent BUT leaves a
dashed line above it and two blank lines above that, with the
blinking cursors sitting at the very top. The washed masses ignored
the etiquette of the unwashed elite and started Top-posting. This
soon leads to posting without even quoting, because people think:
"why waste the bandwidth on all these unnecessary text below here".
Sooner or later, usenet became a wasteland because people cannot
communicate with each other because words were no longer put in
perspective. And flames abound, trolls came out of hiding, people
started calling each others nazis....
Now you get the picture.
But with that said, in personal communications, I often still
top-reply, because: 1) people are starting to use Gmail 2) I think I
can rely on the two people I actually talk to privately to remember
what he/she just said twenty minutes ago 3) Scrolling through personal
emails like that is a bitch.
McDonald's Corollary to Murphy's Law:
In any given set of circumstances, the proper
course of action is determined by subsequent events.
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