'Please email answers to me directly as I am not yet on this alias'

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/10/19 14:50 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/10/19/845311.aspx

I swear when I saw Raymond's post No good deed goes unpunished, part 2 earlier today I almost ruined a keyboard since I had a mouthful of Limonata at the time. I get the same problem a bit, though not nearly as much as he does (he answers a lot more mail to DLs than I do, even only counting mails we are both on, so there is probably as correlation).

I will admit I even got such a response from Raymond once about 5-6 years ago when I was asking about a really obscure Win95 issue while working on MSLU and was actually thinking I didn't think anybody else would be interested. I actually still have that reply archived somewhere, because after that response I learned two valuable lessons, only one of which was applicable to MSLU, and both of which I still remember to this day. :-)

There was one comment from foxyshadis:

I guess it's a good thing blog comments don't have an option to send only to the poster, and not the blog.

that reminded me that I actually still have that contact link at the top of this blog which eventually will get you to a way to send mail to me and not the blog.

I actually get more suggestions for posts there than I do in the Suggestion Box, which makes me think that I should actually remove that link and keep things "on the list" as it were.

The other thing I see a lot of, similar to but less provocative than Wang-Lo's observation (obviously more common in a newsgroup than an email DL), is people who end their initial mail to the DL with "Please email answers to me directly as I am not yet on this alias."

When I see this, I truly wonder how long those people have been at Microsoft, where:

  1. People never trim text in the reply (hell, they often won't trim the huge bitmaps!)
  2. People always hit "REPLY ALL" which means the sender will be there
  3. Even if #2 were not true and they hit "REPLY", there is no need to request what Outlook already does
  4. The TO: line never gets smaller, do no one is going to take your name off unless they are complaining about you to someone in which case they would probably hit FORWARD and you wouldn't be on the mail even with your warning

But it is funny that people actually took the time to specifically hit REPLY rather than REPLY ALL yet did not recognize that it was their own volitional act that led to the circumstance of the DL being removed. I am usually not the sort of person to think that not getting a joke should be brought up during a person's review, but in this case, not getting a joke and then reporting a bug rather than asking what was meant might be a place I'd make an exception....

# robert on 19 Oct 2006 6:15 PM:

The other thing you don't mention is that Outlook allows you to choose where responses to your mail will be sent, so there's no need to ask others to do anything, you can set it up yourself. (When sending mail, check out "Message Options" and the "Have Replies Sent To" option...)

# Michael S. Kaplan on 19 Oct 2006 6:55 PM:

Technically, both REPLY and REPLY TO ALL will always include the sender, so including them in the REPLY TO is a no-op in this case....

Plus I'd hate to rely on anyone knowing about advanced and/or obscure Outlook features. :-)

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