[Users] The reply mark in subject (R: Re:) recognition

Paul Rolland (=?UTF-8?B?44Od44O844Or44O744Ot44Op44Oz?=) rol at witbe.net
Wed Aug 8 14:38:49 CEST 2012

Hello Michael,

On Wed, 8 Aug 2012 14:24:49 +0200
Michael Rasmussen <mir at miras.org> wrote:

> On Wed, 8 Aug 2012 08:06:38 -0400
> Jerry <jerry at seibercom.net> wrote:
> > 
> > The problem here is clearly the use of the word "MAY"⁽¹⁾.
> > 
> Yes, may in a RFC means this functionality is optional but if the
> functionality is included the functionally "MUST" respect the RFC which
> means a subject line indicating this is a reply to another mail MUST
> use, and ONLY use, Re: to indicate this.

What's more :
2822 Internet Message Format. P. Resnick, Ed.. April 2001. (Format:
     TXT=110695 bytes) (Obsoletes RFC0822) (Obsoleted by RFC5322) (Updated
     by RFC5335, RFC5336) (Status: PROPOSED STANDARD)

5322 Internet Message Format. P. Resnick, Ed.. October 2008. (Format:
     TXT=122322 bytes) (Obsoletes RFC2822) (Updates RFC4021) (Status:

RFC5322, 3.6.5:
   When used in a reply, the field body MAY start with the
   string "Re: " (an abbreviation of the Latin "in re", meaning "in the
   matter of") followed by the contents of the "Subject:" field body of
   the original message.  If this is done, only one instance of the
   literal string "Re: " ought to be used since use of other strings or
   more than one instance can lead to undesirable consequences.

So not only should it be "Re: " (with a space after :), but there should be
only one of them.

Any other strings seems to be mainly originated by :
 - Microsoft Outlook,
 - Lotus Notes
where people have considered "Re:" as a shortcut for "Reply", and then
translated it in all the gazillions of languages we have on earth, while
they dutifully forgot about de-duplicating the "Re: Re: Aw: Damn subject" ;)


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