At 12:58 AM 4/4/2002 +1000, Don Ingram wrote:
>If you have been following the thread, it is far easier to browse the reply
>if it is at the top.

Yes. Sometimes. If.

>  This is particularly true if you are sliding down the
>messages list & watching in the Outlook preview window.

Yes again. I don't use Outlook, but Eudora has the same feature.

>   IMHO there is
>nothing more annoying than clawing your way through untold levels of arrows
>from prior forwards, looking for the reply, only to find that the previous
>corespondent has tacked a ditto or thanks to the end of it.

This is not really an issue of top or bottom reply, but of simple neglect 
on the part of the writer. In my view, at least the beginning of the reply 
should be in the first few lines. But analytical writing suggests that one 
intersperse original and reply, with only that part of the original 
retained which is appropriate to keep context and make the post 
intelligible to one who has *not* read the prior threads. Sometimes a 
reader might not have access to them....

>   Ideally if the
>previous conversation was not important to the current post then it could be
>snipped anyway.

Yes. What we often see on this list is mindless bottom-quoting, however. 
Leaving the entire original post at the bottom, and letting it accumulate 
through many layers of quotation, together with all the list boilerplate, 
is perhaps the most common mailing list etiquette error.

A single post often raises many issues. In that case, quoting it all in a 
block at either the beginning or end leaves the reply largely 
out-of-context. I prefer a conversational style, as one will see here and 
with most of my posts.

I also try to delete everything that is not necessary for context, usually 
this is the bulk of the original post.

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