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[IP] Re: Replying to posts

Recently Lurline asked:

> How do you designate one post you wish to reply to?  If I hit reply
> it includes the whole list.  Would one have to delete all the the
> subject one would respond to?

It depends on what email software you're using. With most of the recent
versions, you can first highlight the section you're replying to, _then_ hit
the "Reply" button, and only that part is quoted.

Just for discussion purposes, here's my tried-and-true method for replying
to posts from the digest:

1. Highlight the section you're replying to. Don't highlight more than you
need to make the issue plain; generally you needn't include the entire
posting. Certainly you don't need to include the "for HELP or to
subscribe/unsubscribe,..." message at the bottom! Hit the "Reply" button.
2. Switch back to the original digest window, copy the subject line, switch
to your reply window, and paste the proper subject in over the "Re.:
insulin-pumpers-digest V4 #893" or whatever. This is rather important: many
of us skip over messages we're not interested in, and when I see the "Re.:
Insulin..." I tend to skip over it right away. Or get annoyed and spill my
coffee... That's why the digest has the line "PLEASE edit the subject line
of your reply messages" at the top of every issue. You can do this by hand,
of course: I just prefer the cut/paste method.
3. [Optional] Switch back to the digest, copy the sender's email address,
switch to the reply window, paste that address into the "Cc:" box (I always
like to send a copy to the sender. This may not be all that good an idea,
however: Sam has told me he prefers _not_ to get the additional copy, and he
may have a good point. I may stop doing this. But folks who read mail with
the browser option may miss a reply to their own posting. Ah, well:
nothing's perfect!)
4. Write your reply. Move the quoted material to a place that makes sense to
you. Some email software puts it all at the end. I like it at the beginning,
so I copy/paste it there. Heavy readers prefer it be at the end, especially
if it's long (but you shouldn't make it long, anyway, right?) The right
angle brackets set it off as a quote adequately. Don't include any really
horrible puns (but I reserve the right to violate any of my own rules).
5. Include your name/address at the end! Sometimes it appears in the header,
but not always, and it's always nicer to know who sent a message.
6. Double-check your subject line, and send the message!

You may have a better method, but this one works pretty well. Digests are
just enough different from normal email that it can get confusing: took me a
while to figure out what was going on.

Keith Johnson
Fleischmann Planetarium
email @ redacted
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

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