Re: Trim Your Tails
From: list (
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 18:58:09 -0700 (PDT)
> I, for one, don't understand Sharon's suggestion.

Can you possibly expand on what you don't understand. Otherwise people who
do understand it (inlcuding Sharon) are limited to restating it and
perhaps trying to word the explanation differently.

There are a lot of web references explaining this, since it comes up a lot.

Wikipedia has an overview:

For example:

When quoting another person, edit out whatever isn't directly applicable
to your reply. Don't let your mailing or Usenet software automatically
quote the entire body of messages you are replying to when it's not
necessary. Take the time to edit any quotations down to the minimum
necessary to provide context for your reply. Nobody likes reading a long
message in quotes for the third or fourth time, only to be followed by a
one-line response: "Good Idea!"

This saves reading time, disk space, network bandwidth, and makes things
faster and easier for everybody.

Or a different explanation:

Probably a better question than ?what should I trim away?? is ?what should
I keep?? Keep just enough so that your reply makes sense in context, no
more and no less. Unless you have a very good reason to quote more, a good
guideline is that the amount of quoted matter should be less than the
amount of new matter. If the previous author was long-winded and any
direct quote is too long, write a one- or two-line summary in lieu of a

Of course you?ll trim away any signature lines (unless that?s what you?re
commenting on), and of course you?ll keep all the relevant attributions
and trim away the ones that don?t apply to what you?re quoting.


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