On May 27, 2008, at 8:04 AM, Tobias Weber wrote:

> On a mailing list and in most newsreaders you only see one message  
> body
> at a time, especially when you "fetch unread" often. In that case it
> does make sense to quote the immediate sentence you are replying to.

Probably. However, consider the history of written communication. When  
people wrote letters to each other, or to newspapers, they didn't  
usually quote. There's another technique, which incorporates context  
into your reply.

I actually spent about a month not quoting anything. No meaning was  
lost. But it was much harder work, so I can see why (brief) quoting is  
better.

>> people felt impelled to prefix their remarks with every other remark
>> that's already been made.
>
> But we do! Watch any talkshow: So Mr A basically said that B sucks. I
> concur. Whats your opinion, Mr C?

First, this forum/newsgroup is not a talkshow - it's a time-extended  
conversation. People just talk, sometimes to each other, sometimes  
over each other. And even in a talkshow, as when a newsperson is  
interviewing multiple people at a time (which I think is what you  
might be referring to), the entire previous conversation is not  
repeated every time someone has something to say.

Imagine a conversation like this:

A: I like ham

B: You like ham. I agree, especially with eggs

A: I like ham and you said that I like ham and then you agreed, adding  
that eggs are good with ham. I don't like eggs, though.

B: You like ham, and I agreed, adding the part about the eggs, and  
then you...

That's what a typical overquoted Usenet thread is equivalent to. :)

///ark