[BangPypers] [OT] Guido's Tweet on Top Posting

Dhananjay Nene dhananjay.nene at gmail.com
Fri Sep 11 11:11:48 CEST 2009

Comments inline

On Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 2:12 PM, Baishampayan Ghose <b.ghose at gmail.com>wrote:

> > why? in the first place I am extremely sensitive to top posting, but have
> never
> > used usenet or been in a C forum. I only learned about interleaved
> posting in
> > about 2002 or so. And the vast majority of people online now have similar
> > experience to mine. And also the vast majority of top posters do so not
> out of
> Just because you came late does not mean you can't have the same
> sensibilities of the Usenet era. In short, many people who joined the
> mailing list bandwagon recently have learnt the right etiquette from
> others and by noticing how inline, contextual postings are much better
> than top posting.

I haven't since a convincing argument either way on the topic why should
newer folks
adopt or not adopt a Usenet sensibility. IMO the usenet "pattern" is simply
a losing battle (one I gave up ages ago before shifting to top posting).

> Others, unfortunately fail to accept it; they are simply too lazy to
> be courteous to others. I would blame the webmail clients for that
> though. They are simply not smart enough to put the cursor in the
> right place (which is below the quote). Thunderbird does that nicely.

Bottom posting is exactly that -  a courtesy.  But it is also a courtesy
which is increasingly hard to offer as most people use top posting. One can
even use a greasemonkey script to bottom post in gmail. But the issue is
that most people get unnerved by bottom posting - its simply not consistent
with their expectations.

IMO, at the end of the day it really doesn't matter and probably the best
thing is to simply get comfortable with both and move beyond the issue. On a
similar note, I continue to use British spellings but really don't get
surprised or disturbed when the people around me increasingly use American
spellings or pronunciation. I do not insist on people using British
spellings when the email me stuff (isn't that the "real" correct english ?),
but do not switch to American spellings since I do not feel comfortable
using them.

I suspect courtesy really extends both ways - and I choose to top post by
default (to be courteous to the maximum number of readers) and also be
ambivalent to the top or bottom posting - I will read an interesting message
either ways and not worry about whether the sender was courteous to me. The
simple reason is that the message matters to me and as I reader, at least I
do not have issues with the sender formatting it the way he or she chooses
it - it really is largely irrelevant.

blog: http://blog.dhananjaynene.com
twitter: http://twitter.com/dnene
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