Top-quoting defined [was: namespace dictionaries ok?]

Ron Adam rrr at
Wed Oct 26 14:56:34 CEST 2005

Duncan Booth wrote:

> No, I didn't think it was malice which is why I just added what I 
> considered to be a polite request at the end of my message. I assumed that 
> most people either knew the phrase or could find out in a few seconds using 
> Google so there wasn't much point in rehashing the arguments. Probably I 
> should have equally lambasted Ron for the heinous crime of bottom-quoting. 

I usually try to keep things in reasonable context and or order.  I tend 
to bottom quote only when either the message is short enough to fit on a 
single page, or when I'm adding new content that isn't a direct response 
to an individual item but builds on the above ideas.  Sometimes deciding 
what to trim out of various really good replies is difficult. ;-)

In any case, I don't take offense to any suggested improvements. I 
wouldn't be surprised if many of my posts were considered hard to follow 
at times.  A chronic sleeping disorder combined with dyslexia can 
sometimes make expressing my thoughts in words rather challenging on 
some (most) days.

>>quote from James (4)
> comment from Ron (5)
>>>>quote from James (2)
>>>comment from Ron (3)
>>>>quote from James (2)
>>>>>quote from Ron (1)
> I spent a while trying to trim that down to relevant context, and in 
> particular trying to work out in what order the original statements had 
> been made. In the end I gave up and replied to an earlier message which was 
> more easily trimmable.

I was undecided weather to trim the later (earlier) responses or not, 
but decided to leave them in.

>>Also, here is a well written synopsis of the arguments in 
>>favor of top-posting and they may even be strong enough to legitimize the 
> The arguments are mostly sound, but I would draw slightly different 
> conclusions:
> Follow the conventions of the particular newsgroup or mailing list, but 
> with that in mind, for all replies, Middle Post. Respond to each point in 
> turn with lots of snipping.

In general I find a well written top post in a friarly prompt *email* to 
be fine.  What I refer to as well written in this case, is where the 
author restates the question, points, or issues in their own word first, 
and then follow that up with their response and or conclusions. 
Especially if it's any sort of official or at least non casual 
interchange.  In that case the quotes appended to the end serves as 
history that can be referenced if needed.

But in news groups, it's best to try and keep things conversational with 
as you call middle posts.  It allows people to add to the conversation 
as if they were all present at the same time, even though they may 
actually be replying at varying different times.  I tend to try not to 
break up paragraphs if possible though, and attempt to break my posts up 
into short paragraphs to leave spaces for others to insert their 
replies.  But I wouldn't claim I'm completely consistent on these issues 

 > He's right though, its not a religious issue.

Yep, I agree with this also.  ;-)


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