[Mailman-Users] Apostrophe in a user's email

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Fri Dec 6 17:55:59 CET 2013

Paul Kleeberg writes:

 > We are trying to subscribe a user who has an apostrophe in their
 > email address to a list using the web interface and get the
 > message: “Hostile address (illegal characters)”.

I assume the apostrophe is in the mailbox (user account) part of the

My reading of RFC 5322 is that ASCII apostrophe is perfectly legal in
the mailbox part (but it is late, I may have missed something ;-).
First, confirm that the apostrophe is an ASCII apostrophe (0x27),
*not* a single quote (Unicode U+2019, CP1252 0x92) or prime (Unicode
U+2032).  If it is something else, change it to the apostrophe and
things should work.

If it already is an ASCII apostrophe, you'll probably need to change
the Mailman code, preferably to warn but not error in that case.  I
don't know where that code is, though, somebody else should be able to
tell you.


[1]  If not, RFC 952 rules:

   1. A "name" (Net, Host, Gateway, or Domain name) is a text string up
   to 24 characters drawn from the alphabet (A-Z), digits (0-9), minus
   sign (-), and period (.).  Note that periods are only allowed when
   they serve to delimit components of "domain style names". (See
   RFC-921, "Domain Name System Implementation Schedule", for
   background). No blank or space characters are permitted as part of a
   name. No distinction is made between upper and lower case.  The first
   character must be an alpha character.

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