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

Holger Berndt berndth at gmx.de
Wed Aug 8 20:24:43 CEST 2012

On Mi, 08.08.2012 18:03, Michael Rasmussen wrote:

>On Wed, 8 Aug 2012 11:29:49 -0400
>Jerry <jerry at seibercom.net> wrote:
>> The <p> is documented in the HTML specifications. There is no RFC that
>> specifically limits the use of "RE: " to indicate an email reply.
>Are you joking? Several replies to this thread has pointed you to the

That RFC recommends (!) the use of "Re: ". It clearly doesn't limit it
to that.

In particular, the subject line is written by a human, not by a
machine. The MUA may offer a suggestion, but that's surely not binding.

In particular, a human MUA user doesn't need to read and understand
RFCs to be able to actually understand the Subject line of an
electronic mail message.

It is completely absurd to consider "Aw: " and the like to be invalid.
In that line of reasoning, starting with "Look at this: " would also be

However, when not using the widespread "Re: ", users have to live with
MUAs not always being able to do the expected thing. That's a
shortcomming of the specifications, and not a fault of a human user,
nor that of a MUA that translates the subject line, because it considers
a translation the lesser of two evils.

Comparing that to the (supposedly) well-defined markup language that is
interpreted by a machine is likewise absurd.


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