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Like many other techwr-l subscribers, I also make extensive use of
the delete key. However, I'd like to make a distinction between "off
topic" and "inapropriate for this list".
I think off topic also describes a post that wanders from the initial
topic of the thread. That creates a problem that is not remedied by
the delete key, because the message header remains as it was when
first created. Once an off topic message is posted, the thread begins
to accumulate both off topic and on topic replies, making use of the
delete key practical only after reading the messages.
Because there is a good deal of controversey over what constitutes an
appropriate topic it seems that we won't solve that problem any time
soon. However, we can avoid off topic messages in a thread by
starting a new thread with a new subject header - and explicitly
stating that this is being done to preserve the initial topic and
create a new discussion of the off topic issue. That is just common
courtesy and would be a real benefit to those who use the delete key
to limit the amount of time required to glean useful information from
the daily postings.
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
Bruce Covell Cooper and Chyan Technology Inc.
brucec -at- cctech -dot- com 1601 S. De Anza Boulevard
408.342.5630 Cupertino, CA 95014