saving the e-mail tag by tag

Is it only me who is stuck behind a not-very HTML friendly e-mail
mentality? Everyday I feel so. Many a time I have risked the enamel of
my teeth grinding away than ask the sender to please reduce HTML tags
to less than the message content. I confess I use XEmacs and gnus and
w3m to render HTML. While it can render HTML it is not as HTML
friendly as any of the holy browser based e-mail clients. Any time I
raise this issue the answer I get is "loose the looser e-mail client
looser!". After hearing that I get the feeling the sender didn't know
there is an option to disable HTML in his or her e-mail client.


Ever so often, instead of reading only the sentence "LOL, you \*are\* an
idiot" as a reply to a mail of mine, I end up reading pages of css and
HTML tags and the ancestry of the HTML e-mail composer which was used
to type in "LOL" in large red underlined font, oh, and it is centered
on the line and maybe justified too. Is anyone else irked by the large
amount of non-information e-mails contain? If I am reading my mail on
a poor man's terminal and if the client couldn't get correct colors, I
end up looking at black letters on a black background.

For me ASCII is rich enough to convey emphasis and rage and tantrums.
If holy wars could be wages on much poorer terminals, why use these
bells and whistles?

When conveyed in an e-mail, the message:

\*DON'T DELETE THAT FILE.\*

is as emphatic or more emphatic than

DON'T DELETE THAT FILE.

It is much easier on the eyes and I can also understand that I really
really should not have deleted the file. Contrary to the psychedelics,
shocking me into obeying, I know not deleting was important because
the sender didn't take time to change font colours and size.

Even more irksome is while deep into a e-mail thread with many
participants contributing, some of them insist on quoting with HTML
something or the other and indentation. I am attuned to reading this:



+---------------------                  +---------------------
| >> them                               |       them         
|                                       |                    
| > him                     and not     |    him                     
|                                       |                    
| " me now"                             |" me now"           
+---------------------                  +---------------------


                                                             
I can understand indentation for delineating code blocks. But e-mail
as I remember did not depend on indentation alone for quoting. I still
don't believe e-mail is a web product. Leveraging web provided
services and features is fine. Over-use and mis-use is not the same as
leveraging.

That brings me to another story my father narrates...

The priest and his helper are walking along a river. This is a long
time ago and you should know that the priest is of a higher cast and
have rights which the helper does not. They are walking along and they
reach a place where the river stinks like rotten eggs.

The priest pinches his nose and walks on ahead. That is when he
notices his helper also pinching his nose.

The priest asks: "You Idiot, I am pinching my nose to keep the smell
out. Who gave you permission to pinch your nose?"

Helper: "Oh exalted one. It is below me to keep the smell from
entering my unworthy nostrils. I am pinching them to keep the smell
that came in from going out.".

The moral of the story is to not quote non-contextual stories.
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