Re: "e=2Eg=2E, coconuts=2E" in e-mails

Subject: Re: "e=2Eg=2E, coconuts=2E" in e-mails
From: "Peter Ring, PRC" <prc -at- ISA -dot- DKNET -dot- DK>
Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 10:20:17 +1

Mary McWilliams Johnson <mary -at- SUPERCONNECT -dot- COM> wrote as an irritated
"maybe slightly TAN" (at least for English-only speakers) comment to
the subject: Correct usage "i.e." and "e.g.":

> I'm copying your complete message below so that you can see how it came
> through in Eudora. I don't know what email program you use, but apparently
> it was attempting to format symbols in some fancy way - a way that didn't
> translate into ASCII text.
> >
> >There seems to be an inconsistent usage of the Latin abbreviations,
> >"i=2Ee=2E= "=20 and "e=2Eg=2E"
> >I am compiling a civil engineering guide and before doing so wish
> >to develo= p=20 a set ...

This frequently happens, mainly in e-mails using the non-English
characters above ASCII 128. Most likely it is caused by conversion
errors between the 7-bit characters transferred by the Internet, and
the full 8-bit ASCII character set. If this is correct, it's
probably not your e-mail reader which makes it, but maybe (partly?)
the settings of the senders e-mail programme. There are two different
versions of the problem, A and B:

A Here "=" at the end of a line is a soft NewLine, and "=XX" is a
character where XX is the HEX code of the character (00..FF).
Examples: =20 is ASCII 32 = " " (space). =2E is ASCII 46 = ".".

B Characters above ASCII 127 are translated to another character
according to (what looks like) a fixed pattern. Example: The
German u-umlaut is shown as a "power of 3". The major problem is,
that in some cases different characters are translated into the
same character, and some characters are translated into standard
characters below ASCII 128, even common letters like "s".

If you have frequent problems of this kind - or with copying e-mails
into a word processor - you can use my little shareware programme
TrimTXT. The current version 1.0 can translate type A (the =XX type).
Version 1.1 (currently in an unreleased "late alpha") will handle
most of the type B "translations", too. TrimTXT is available from

Greetings from Denmark

Peter Ring
PRC (Peter Ring Consultants)
- specialists in user friendly manuals and audits on manuals.
prc -at- isa -dot- dknet -dot- dk
- the "User Friendly Manuals" website with links, bibliography, list
of prof. associations, and tips for technical writers:
- text cleaning software, e.g. for reading difficult e-mails:

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