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From Bishop <>
Subject Re: Trimming
Date Sun, 29 Oct 2000 21:21:40 GMT

I'd like to offer another view of the problem.

I receive a staggering amount of email on a daily basis, and as someone who
I'm sure works very long hours himself you can certainly understand what
happens to the mind after so many hours uptime for so long.

People who regularly correspond with me will have, at least once in our
relationship, trimmed a mail message when replying.  These people usually
get a quick reply and request to re-send the message they intended to send,
including the full text (minus redundant signatures if desired) of the
reply chain.  I simply do not have enough time to grovel through the trash
to find that one message that gives me a clue about what we were discussing
That time.

Additionally, in my work life I'm often handed off an issue that has been
in the works for more than a few days, either because the person in charge
is now sick/vacationing, or because the subject of the discussion is one in
which my meagre talents make me one of the people who now should be
involved at that point.  The inclusion of the complete reply chain has
saved days of repeated work, as correspondents in different time zones are
not requested to repeat certain tests whose results showed up in a letter
far earlier but are not the active discussion item.  It also helps even in
the little points, like knowing "Jim's" email address because it's actually
included in a letter a week ago that's in the chain.  In  such a case and
probably for reasons like this, all mail that goes through the office often
has the full reply chain for the incident being discussed.  

It's not due to negligence, but more by design, and it usually only comes
out when the mail crosses more than 8 hours of longitude, the amount of
mail being received is very high, there's more than 2 people involved in
the conversation or people can possibly be brought into the discussion
somewhere later on.  Personally, when I start seeing something interesting
on the list, I LIKE the reply chain so I know the context of what's being
said.  The interspersal (if you will) of comments inline is a bit tricky to
follow, but it's all worth it.

Then again, my own patterns of behaviour and those in my office are borne
of repeated exposure to the types of mail traffic I've described. 
Surprisingly enough, maybe you haven't run into those yet, or haven't had
an opportunity to see the different in such an environment.  Perhaps you
have a much better memory that I or my co-workers have (caffeine kills
brain cells).  After the first week of >900 new significant mail a day,
give it a try;  that's about when I began requesting it of my
correspondents a few years back.

I'll get off this soapbox now.

 - bishop

Ben Laurie wrote:
> Since I've had to catch up with a _lot_ of back email, I notice there
> are some people who consistently don't trim the messages they are
> replying to. This is exceedingly irritating, if only because I have to
> scroll through the whole damn lot assuming they said something somewhere
> in the middle. And they never did. So please, trim your damn replies,
> people!
> Just to make sure my message gets through, I mean you, Ryan and Jim!
> Cheers,
> Ben.
> --
> "There is no limit to what a man can do or how far he can go if he
> doesn't mind who gets the credit."
> Robert Woodruff

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