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My Thoughts on Bottom Posting

Well, they (my thoughts) are mostly unprintable, but I will strongly express my position on bottom posting.

It sucks.

But first, a bit of history:

The top posting, bottom posting debate has been mostly won by the bottom posting folks, that is, when replying to an email, your response should go after the quoted portion of the original email.

That’s caca – big stinky pungent steaming caca.

First, if the email was lengthy, you must scroll for ages to even get to your response. Second, the assertion that bottom posting "conserves" the flow of the conversation and is more "right" is also caca. The flow of the conversation is contained in your threaded mail reader. You do use a threaded mail reader, right? The threaded mail reader will preserve the flow of the conversation just fine, thank you, without all the fuss and muss of quoted portions above and below and all around.

My reasons for top posting (in email… doing so in Usenet will get you keel-hauled) is that my response is the most relevant portion of the email. My response is the reason I am sending said email. If the recipient is too lazy to look at his last email to discern to what I am replying, I have included a snippet of relevant text after my important response for reference’s sake. It is just a little reminder, not the important portion of the email. Bottom posters just don’t seem to get this, little bottom feeders that they are.

I get it, I really do. You are so humble, so meek, so respectful in your correspondence that your pathetic little response must be relegated to the tail end of the email. You suck. I don’t want to do business with you. I would rather do business with someone who has the balls to believe his words mean something and places them at the top of the email accordingly.

Got it?

I understand that this is a sensitive topic for many programmers and Open Source developers and furthermore that the convention of "bottom posting" or "bending over and taking up the rear" has won the day. I understand that top posting is frowned upon in public discussion forums. I disagree of course. Again, your Usenet reader is threaded, right? If you need to bottom post, I think you are an idiot, but I am outnumbered, so I acquiesce. You shall, however, not have the pleasure of enforcing upon me your flagrant disregard for common sense and decency by encroaching upon my personal email habits.

In my email I will top post. I will defend my top posting. I will throw down with anyone that wants to start a flame war on the subject.

I am prepared to defend myself.

1 Comment

  1. Jim

    dreadpiratepj: so essentially, what you’re saying is that you’re a self-absorbed jackass, so deal with the way you post?

    dreadpiratepj: LOL

    dreadpiratepj: “MY reply, is the important piece”

    james: no, I am saying I am right, and bottom posters are wrong

    james: well yeah, otherwise why write the damn email

    dreadpiratepj: yours is not the only content, it’s a discussion

    james: the other person’s reply is the most important part of HIS email, not MINE

    dreadpiratepj: so if your reply is so important, have the forum to yourself

    dreadpiratepj: I’m sure that will be soo entertaining

    dreadpiratepj: neither piece has meaning without the other part, so that’s bullshit

    dreadpiratepj: I’m referring to this “the other person’s reply is the most important part of HIS email, not MINE”

    james: but it doesn’t work that way, in MY post, MY reply is the most important part, it doesn’t supercede the entire forum. the discrete set is my post, that’s all I control, and as such it is the most important part… ‘sides this doesn’t apply to to forums, ’cause I am outnumbered by the jackass bottom posters 🙂

    dreadpiratepj: you are having A DISCUSSION, not a monologue

    dreadpiratepj: both parts are equally important

    dreadpiratepj: and it’s an open forum, not a one to one conversation in a private thread

    james: yeah, but the other is there, if one cares to look

    dreadpiratepj: therefore the WHOLE is important for everyone

    james: yeah, but I’m not taking anything away, the whole is intact

    dreadpiratepj: neither is the bottom poster

    james: look, are we talking about forums or email?

    dreadpiratepj: both, top posters and bottom posters, are not taking anything away

    dreadpiratepj: I’m just giving you a hard time over the “MY part is the most important”

    james: if the forum posts bottom, then I post bottom, like if in Puerto Rico I speak spanish, even though my first language is english… but in my email, I will top post because bottom posters drive me nuts 🙂

    james: but it is

    james: of MY email

    dreadpiratepj: to you, yes, and to you that’s the end all of the discussion about top or bottom posting, therefore you are self-absorbed

    james: I’m not saying that MY part is the most important part overall… just of MY email… like in a conversation, when I am speaking, MY words had better mean something, or I should just shut up

    james: and vice versa

    dreadpiratepj: OK, that’s true, but do you interrupt so you say it first?

    james: huh?

    dreadpiratepj: that’s what top posting is

    dreadpiratepj: LOL

    james: no, but the other person already said it

    james: why parrot what he said and put it before mine?

    james: I see it as a quick reference if one desires, not the purpose of the email

    james: I suppose bottom posting does indeed happen in conversation though, like I repeat what you said to let you know I understand you, then say what I think about the subject… so i supposed there is precedence in verbal conversation… perhaps I have to rethink this

    dreadpiratepj: actually, I think it was born out of people using unthreaded clients

    dreadpiratepj: or changing their client setup to be unthreaded

    dreadpiratepj: then they needed to quote context, and bottom posting was born

    dreadpiratepj: or maybe they were just too lazy to refer to the previous posts

    james: but still, I think bottom posting is distracting. Reply: Your post should contain the reply first, then maybe whatever i was replying too. The subject defines the subject of the email, and the subject is what I am writing, not what was written before

    james: and subject comes first. it comes first in a book, chapter, paragraph, sentence… it always comes first

    james: ah, laziness

    james: the primordial soup or all invention

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