This article is based on material authored by members of the news.newusers.questions Moderation Board and nnq-workers mailing list, particularly by Kathy Morgan (until 2005) and Thor Kottelin (since 2007).

Writing style on Usenet

If your posts are hard to decipher, some people just won't even attempt to read them — which means nobody will write back — so try these helpful hints!


Ahem… please do not "shout". No need to use ALL CAPS, as it is hard to read.

Do not use all lowercase, either. Try to use correct grammar and punctuation.

Quote judiciously

When posting a reply to someone else's message, carefully checking the "attributes" of any quoted text that your posting includes is wise. In other words, be sure that what your posting says that what someone else said actually is what that person, not someone else, said in a previous posting. The page on quoting style in newsgroup postings provides more details on this subject.

A special note to users of Netscape Communicator and Microsoft® Internet News or Outlook Express

Please do not attach vCards to your post, and do not post in HTML. Many newsreaders cannot properly interpret such code, making the message hard to read, so many people will just skip those messages. In addition, some major ISPs are filtering out any posts that contain HTML, so your message will be poorly propagated. Please refer to our detailed instructions for turning off HTML and vCards.

Please keep your lines less than 70 or 75 characters wide

If you do not, they tend to wrap around poorly and are hard to read. In case you are unsure how much space 70 characters take up, it is about six inches:


Please remember that many people do not speak the same languages you do

They also may not speak your language as well as you do. So please try to write your questions so that they are clear and easy to read. Moreover, please do not use foul language here. People of all ages and all backgrounds read this newsgroup. You will get a much better response if you speak politely than if you are rude to others.

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