Long Posts: A Clarification

From: Edward Hobbs (EHOBBS@wellesley.edu)
Date: Sun Oct 26 1997 - 12:55:22 EST

Colleagues of B-Greek:

Jonathan says that the List does not have a policy on long posts. In the
formal sense this is correct; the FAQ does not specify anything. However,
we DO have an informal policy, worked out ad hoc a few months ago-- in
connection with Jeffrey Gibson's inquiry, in fact. He had a lengthy post
ready on PEIRASMOS, which had been discussed quite a bit in relation to the
Lord's Prayer. In response to his question about posting it, Carl and I
conferred, and agreed that Jeffrey's suggestion was a good one--and we
recommended it.

It was this: For a lengthy post, especially for a subject on which many
of the subscribers might not wish to have long posts filling up their
mailboxes, the author announces to the List that he has such a post avail-
able, and will send it to anyone who requests it. Jeffrey did that (and
I eagerly asked for a copy myself), and so have a few others since then.
It truly does make a difference to some on the List. (In my own case, I
frequently am unable to reply to even a single message until I delete
several, when the traffic is heavy and some are very long.)

Another practice which is a great courtesy to fellow-subscribers: When
sending a rather long post to the entire List, adding the word "Long" or
"Longish" (I think this last was invented by Carl--it seems to mean "not
awfully long, but still fairly long") to the Subject line. This encourages
those not very interested in the topic to use "Delete," while not deterring
those keen on the subject.

We do not intervene in these matters, since they are not formal policy; but
in fact, we encourage the use of "Long" in the header, and for the very
long ones, posting an announcement that the lengthy message is available,

As for what constitutes "long" -- that depends on how interested you are in
the topic, I suspect!

Edward Hobbs

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