top posting (off-topic)

Bart Silverstrim bsilver at
Fri Nov 23 08:47:49 PST 2007

Brent Jones 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.
> Anyone else feel the same?

I don't.

If you're going to top post, trim the cruft.

Archives don't need 10 posts getting gradually larger as you repeat the 
repeat the repeat the repeat...

As I read from top to bottom, if you're referring to something that's 
buried somewhere below headers (that you left in) that are below more 
information, etc., it's a PITA to find what you're talking about in context.

You're right in that top posting is a savings in effort.  It takes 
effort to craft a response, and instead just burp a brain toot to the 
list.  I would suggest looking into Instant Messaging as a better outlet 
for such brain toots.

People constantly bitch about emails being hard to interpret.  Was it 
serious?  Sarcastic?  A joke?  Top posters encourage taking this to the 
next step...they make the message more vague.  What were you referring 
to?  A particular passage?  In general?  What? In your race to save a 
few seconds of actual thought and editing, you make the message more 
vague.  Thanks.

If you don't read the "bottom" part, why the hell are you quoting it? 
Just to make the archives larger?  "So I can refer to it if I need to??" 
  Here's an idea.  Read the old messages.  Your search engine in your 
mail program may speed up a few nanoseconds if you don't have all that 
extra crap repeated a dozen times.

Best part...replying to a 5K message, top posted, just so you can add a 
one-line comment.  WHY?

No wonder email is thought to increase brain rot.  People don't take the 
time to edit or think through thoughts before laying them to the 
"virtual paper", and it's at the point where you read something, burp a 
brain fart to the top and resend it while justifying their inability to 
adhere to the reading top-to-bottom that so many have come to accept by 
reading books and articles in a linear fashion as a child as a 
time-saver.  Bigger time-saver for me is to delete messages when they 
come in with that formatting.  We have l337 sp33k because it saves time. 
   U seen it b4, rite?  We have top posting.  We have adults who can't 
be bothered to tell the difference between lose and loose in writing. 
Wonderful things encouraged by people justifying their lazy writing styles.

You make an impression online by your writing.  These shortcuts strike 
me as coming from authors that are too lazy to craft their thoughts into 
something worth presenting...sloppy.  Silly mistakes and typos happen 
but all too often, when coupled with other styling choices they make, 
it's hard to give the benefit of the doubt as to how much they care how 
much credibility they "loose" by using sloppy expressions of their thoughts.

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