l i n u x - u s e r s - g r o u p - o f - d a v i s
L U G O D
 
Next Meeting:
October 7: Social gathering
Next Installfest:
TBD
Latest News:
Aug. 18: Discounts to "Velocity" in NY; come to tonight's "Photography" talk
Page last updated:
2003 Jan 29 15:28

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

Report this post as spam:

(Enter your email address)
Re: [vox] [OT] Quoting style (was Re: ... Sig line [ newbie annoyed with tin ])
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [vox] [OT] Quoting style (was Re: ... Sig line [ newbie annoyed with tin ])



On Wed, Jan 29, 2003 at 02:08:58AM +0000, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> It's typical of some closed mailers.  Not sure which of the pack, but I
> think AOL, Prodigy, Compuserv, or one of the like either does this, or
> doesn't provide *any* quoting context, so the users picked this up as a
> tradition.

Actually, I have two ideas where ">> quote <<" comes from.

>> and << are approximate versions of, &laquo; and &raquo (left and right
pointing guillemet, aka double angle quotation marks) which (a little
research later) is a non-English style of quote (French, German) that
probably isn't used much anymore.  Rendered properly they'd be squished into
a single character.  It has the advantage over "quote" of being specific
which opens and which closes, and it has the advantage over ``quote'' of at
least looking balanced on a computer screen.  And it does stand out quite a
bit more than "" would.

I don't remember which BBSes or which BBS message networks now, but sometime
back around 1992-1993 I remember seeing a variation of this quoting style
used.  Actually, I'm pretty sure that it was on some of the Citadel
networks, many of which actually used a "paragraph" oriented system where a
newline only appeared at the end of a paragraph (not at the end of "lines")
and the BBS software was responsible for wrapping that to the correct length
for the individual reader.  (some of whom might be using 40 column displays)
The limitations of the online text-editors built into the BBSes at that time
probably didn't help any, either.

More like
         Bob said, >> First off - quake is simply incredible.  It lets you 
         repeatedly kill your boss in the office without being arrested. <<

         Fred said, >> Yeah, you're so right, Bob! <<

Then if you were to respond to my message, you would only need to edit in
the quoting for my material, delete (or shorten) anything that's no longer
relevant from older quoted material and add on your own witty reply.

In those forums, it worked fairly well.  The quoting style I used to quote
you wouldn't have worked, due to the paragraph orientation of things; it
depends on 80-column lines.

IIRC, It was always ">>", never a single one.  Frequently color or bold was
used, as well.  (I don't remember now if it was on the entire quoted bit or
just on the mock-guillemet.

(It's probably been independently reinvented, as well)

> Let's look at *why* it's so annoying:

See, back in 1993 on a Citadel board it worked fine...

>    - It's hard to tell *what* is quoted on a given line.

Color or bold helped immensely with this

>    - It's hard to tell how many *levels* of quoting are being presented
>      E.g.:  what's the difference between:

Levels of quoting is a slight misdefinition of the problem; knowing who said
what and who was responding to what is the bigger issue.  Having to keep
track of levels of quoting further down in a message can make figuring out
who said what difficult.

Your examples aren't bad with all >> and an attribution included on *each
quote at the beginning, outside the quotes.  (and proper paragraph breaks!)

>      Especially when presented as:
> 
>          >> What is tolerance? -- it is the consequence of humanity.  We
>          are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally
>          each other's folly -- that is the first law of nature.  - Voltaire <<
>          > First off - Quake is simply incredible. It lets you
>          repeatedly kill your boss in the office without being arrested.
>          :) -- Signal 11, in a slashdot comment <

ie:

Voltaire said, >> What is tolerance? -- it is the consequence of humanity. 
We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each
other's folly -- that is the first law of nature. <<

Signal 11, in a slashdot comment, said, >> First off - Quake is simply
incredible. It lets you repeatedly kill your boss in the office without
being arrested. <<

>    - Nesting such quotes in subsequent discussions and trying to figure
>      out who said what becomes rapidly nontrivial.

This is a problem with any quoting style when mishandled by the user.  If we
each left a trace of previous levels in and didn't properly edit, there'd be
something like

> > > > > > > > > > > Fish taste good!

And seeing that somebody different actually said:

> > > > > > > > > > I like bananas!

becomes nontrivial when the quotes aren't right next to each other.

(4 levels is about the limit, I'd say...  2 or 3 is more realistic.)

> It's called writing for clarity.

Unfortunately, any quoting style can be mangled right out of any semblance
of clarity by users that don't care and don't understand how to properly use
the quoting style in use in a particular cultural niche.

Haven't you ever seen the "proper" quoting style for email and usenet
mangled into something like the following?

> > >> > > And really, how many Karsten M. Self's do you thing there are in
> > the world? 
> > I can usually get by on my first name alone. This isn't true
> > >> > anymore on the Internet, particularly in a couple of discussion 
> > groups with
> > a strong international (and annoyingly German) representation. Other
> > >> Karstenisms.
-- 
Eric Eisenhart <*@eric.eisenhart.name>
http://eric.eisenhart.name/
IRC: Freiheit@freenode, AIM: falsch freiheit, ICQ: 48217244
_______________________________________________
vox mailing list
vox@lists.lugod.org
http://lists.lugod.org/mailman/listinfo/vox



LinkedIn
LUGOD Group on LinkedIn
Sign up for LUGOD event announcements
Your email address:
facebook
LUGOD Group on Facebook
'Like' LUGOD on Facebook:

Hosting provided by:
Sunset Systems
Sunset Systems offers preconfigured Linux systems, remote system administration and custom software development.

LUGOD: Linux Users' Group of Davis
PO Box 2082, Davis, CA 95617
Contact Us

LUGOD is a 501(c)7 non-profit organization
based in Davis, California
and serving the Sacramento area.
"Linux" is a trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Sponsored in part by:
O'Reilly and Associates
For numerous book donations.