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The Quoting Problem & Its Solution

When you reply to another subscriber’s post, your email app is likely to include a quoted copy of that post in your reply. In order to avoid cluttering our archives with extracopies of every post, we require all posters to remove the quoted text from their replies.

You may not realize your reply includes a copy of the previous post, because many email apps (like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, etc.) hide the copy from view. To delete such copies from your posts...

  1. After you click on Reply (and before you type your reply) look for a small link at the bottom of the email editing box. The link may say “Show Original Message” (Yahoo), “Show Message History” (Outlook), or it may just be an ellipsis [...] that says “Show Trimmed Content” when you move the pointer near it (Gmail).
  2. Once you can see the copy of the previous message, simply Select All (ctrl+A onWindows, command+A on Mac) and then hit the Delete key. (In Gmail, hit Delete twice.)
  3. The exact steps will vary depending on the email app and the device you are using.

Note that you are allowed to quote brief portions of previous posts when needed for reference, provided you indicate who is being quoted, and you precede each line of quoted text with the “>” character.

The Content Filter

If you forget to delete the quoted text from your reply, we have set up a content filter that will intercept the reply and send it to the moderation queue. If that happens, you must re-send your reply without the quoted text if you want it to be sent to the list. (Note: If you don’t re-send your reply within a day or two, a moderator may decide to post your reply on your behalf, but this is not guaranteed.)

“False Positive” Matches

Our filter is simplistic and will sometimes block a reply that doesn’t actually contain a full copy of the previous message. To detect such messages, the content filter is triggered by these text strings that are often present with quoted copies:

Original message
Forwarded message
“wrote:” translations used by Gmail...
    écrit :
    > on behalf of
    im Auftrag von

Note that “wrote:” only triggers the filter if the colon (“:”) is included, so if you want your post to include a short quote preceded by an attribution like “Jane wrote:” please omit the colon.

If you have questions or need technical assistance, please contact the listowner.

Updated July, 2018