In a message of Wed, 25 Mar 2015 08:34:32 +1100, Peter Shute writes:

>Thanks for that bit of reply style history! I've only been using
>email since quoting became a common feature, so I never saw this
>before and after effect. Have you seen a reduction in this "dressing
>down" style of reply since top-posting became common?

>Peter Shute

It is a little hard to know how to interpret the data.  The people who
are top-posting mostly aren't doing the total-demolition rebut everything
you said, line by line, but it is not clear to me that they were doing
so in the first place.  My gut-sense is that, in the places I frequent,
the people doing the top-posting are, for the most part, new additions
to the mailreading community.  Whether the older and more established
part of the community were still doing a lot of this sort of point-by-point
had more to do with whether or not they had identified this
sort of reply as a source of grief in their communities or not. Some
people never figured out that this was one source of the problems they were
facing.  Plus, there is a certain subset of humanity who thrives on such
sort of conflicts, and cannot get enough of it.    And should you happen
to have a mailing list which is only populated by extremely detail-oriented
people, you may find that everybody is most happy with these sorts of
exhaustive rebuttals, without ever seeing anything in the 'public
humiliation' or 'lack of respect' lines.  Your ego cannot get bruised in
such altercations if you never had invested it in the first place.

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