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Re: The new academic aristocracy

2009/10/23 David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>:
>>  In the shiny digital future, the new academic aristocracy will be
>>  made up of those who know how to send plain-text email.
>>  The good news is, YOU can join!
>>  Folks, please.  It's not that hard.
> What _is_ hard is to find out that other people only get to see the
> "truncated" message, because programs capable of sending
> not-absolutely-plain text are also capable of receiving them and displaying
> the text instead of the "truncated" message -- unless you actually send HTML
> and only HTML, you can always read your own messages without problems.
> I used to think there's only one kind of plain text. That's not the case. I
> wonder if some e-mail programs or websites are even capable of sending text
> so plain it doesn't get truncated by the listserv.
> In the last 12 hours, Khamber Heslin, Michael Erickson, Allan Edels, and
> Bruce Woollatt have sent messages that claim to be "Content-Type:
> text/plain" but were nonetheless truncated.

The details are complex -- they were carefully explained in a message
to this list a few weeks ago -- but the upshot is simple.  If you send
actual plain text (as opposed to "both HTML and plain text") then your
messages will reach everyone; if you don't they won't.  Sending
messages that include an HTML or "rich text" portion also means they
are more likely to rejected by other mailing lists or filtered as
spam.  The ability to set species names in italics is GREATLY
outweighed by the manifold disadvantages of HTML email.  Everyone who
values having their stuff actually read over being able to choose
fonts should switch their mailer to always send only plain text.