top posting (off-topic)

Bill Moran wmoran at
Fri Nov 23 05:06:04 PST 2007

"Brent Jones" <brent.jones at> wrote:
> I for one prefer top posting, as usually I have read a particular thread
> enough times that I like to cut to the chase and read the new input
> without having to scroll down, sometimes navigating an endless nesting
> of >>>  For me, reading through top posted replies saves time and
> effort.  If I happened to miss something in the conversation I can
> scroll down to find it.

There are three reasons _not_ to top-post and to post inline, trimming
your response intelligently:

1) Top-posting does not scale up to large, complex emails.  It produces
   incomprehensible responses when the conversation requires more than
   a yes or no answer.
2) Stop thinking about yourself and realize that most messages read in
   archives long after they were posted.  Top posted messages in archives
   are a lot more difficult to parse, and usually require a lot of clicking
   around to get back to earlier messages, etc.
3) RFC-1855 says so.

Most people who _honestly_ ask this question simply don't have a lot of
experience with online discussions.  Take the advice of people who have
been doing this for years and you look smart.

Bill Moran

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