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[wlug] Top posting

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A. Pagaltzis pagaltzis@g...
Sun Apr 24 04:02:56 NZST 2005

* Bnonn <bnonn@o...> [2005-04-08 02:00]:
> Could someone explain why top-posting is bad?

A late note, since I didn’t see this argument after catching up
with the list fully:

  A: Because it reverses the natural flow of text.
  Q: Why is top-posting bad?

The only purpose of quotation is to let a reader follow a message
when they didn’t read the preceding message, or did so a long
time ago (as is the case with this mail).

Reconstructing the context by reading a message quotation-wise
bottom-up (while reading top-to-bottom inside the quotations, of
course) is annoying.

Note that top-posting is tolerable, even if suboptimal, as long
as it is consistent. What is a complete faux-pas is mixing
styles. The result is an unreadable spaghetti mess[1]. Don’t
top-post in reply to a message with interleaved quotes. Don’t
interleave your reply into top-posted quotation. Stick with the
existing style or lose the quotation.

The bottom line is courtesy and respect towards your readers.

[1] Incidentally, it very much resembles reading GOTO-heavy code.
    This is no coincidence: human brains are miserable at dealing
    with temporal as opposed to spatial arrangements.

“If you can’t laugh at yourself, you don’t take life seriously enough.”

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