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mail signatures

    Date: Thu, 25 Jun 1992 11:46 EDT
    From: Scott McKay <SWM@STONY-BROOK.SCRC.Symbolics.COM>


    While I am surely in the minority in the so-called "real world", I
    have to say that I detest signatures.  And greetings, too.

    Must we really give in to this ridiculous piece of Unix weeniedom?
    If I want to know your snail-mail address or phone number, I'll ask.
    I don't need to know your network address, since it's already in the
    message header.  (And please, don't tell me that some mailers garble
    the message headers, because I'll just tell you to fix the offending
    In my own defense, I am not the only person here at Symbolics who
    feels this way.


Well, I agree with that sentiment, Scott, and I love the efficiency of
dispensing with greeting and signature for corresponding with friends,
esp. coworkers.  But I found from posting to some mailing lists,
especially ones reached via Listserv, that you have to include a minimal
signature.  Or else the readers (1) won't know who you are, (2) won't be
able to reply to you personally.  (Yes, Listserv actually changes the
To: headers and inserts a Reply-To:, and some people are constrained by
their sites/systems to have login names like RIUWPQ0034.  It's a losing
battle to insist that every incompetent mail program and computer
environment in the world be fixed.)

Basically, you can't make as many assumptions when mailing to a wider
world, so a minimal signature is desirable.  I just have Zmail include
the one below, and delete it when mailing to close friends and

Douglas Dodds   (dodds@symbolics.com)
Symbolics, Inc.
Concord, Mass.