Email tip: Don’t use a rude subject line just to make your message easier to spot


Here are some subject lines I've seen over the past few years (suitably redacted):

  • !!! BLOCK WRITING TO CD DRIVE !!!
  • ___] Kernel objects naming convention [___
  • [QQ] - Question about job objects

Sure, using exclamation points, all capital letters, or strange eye-catching punctuation marks makes it easier for you to spot replies to your message in your inbox, but it's also rude to your readers, who almost certainly do not consider your message as important as you do.

Imagine if everybody did this.

If it's that important that it easy for you to spot replies to your message, set up a mail filter rule that highlights them.

And, just because I collect these things, here are some unhelpful subject lines that I've seen in the past six months:

  • need help
  • Need help!
  • customer question
  • customer question -
  • customer questions
  • Need help on two questions
  • SR# 1 - 61803399
  • RE: [RESENDING] [QUERY] RE: SR# 1 - 61803399
  • Windows 2003 IIS issue
  • MSCS
  • Looking for a way to do this
  • Is this a bug?
  • Microsoft question
  • Vista question
  • Questions about using Vista
  • Quick Question!
  • Customer Question
  • here's my question for the XYZ team

Sometimes, the people who commit the sin of the useless subject line also follow up with the second sin of repeating their question verbatim because nobody answered it. Nobody answered it because the subject line was not obviously in anybody's specific area of expertise.

Comments (62)
  1. Spike says:

    "Imagine if everybody did this."

    Then I’d be a darned fool to do any different!  Apologies to Joseph Heller.

  2. David Walker says:

    I think it’s somewhat natural to do this, unfortunately — it is similar to the way people think and talk.

    If you were having a conversation with someone, you might say "I have a quick question.  In the system blah blah blah, this happens…".

    It takes some mental training to get yourself to deliberately suppress the first part of what would be a conversation, if it were in person, and make the subject line meaningful.

    While the subject line may be the start of the conversation, it’s more important than that — it’s also used to classify and later find particular messages.

    I have gone back after composing an e-mail and fixed the subject line to say something meaningful before hitting "send".  I have also succeeded in getting a couple of colleagues to stop using "Quick question" for their subject line.  

    I just point out that it will be almost impossible for me to find their e-mail later, when I an ready to answer their question, and thus they are not likely to get a response.

  3. Keith says:

    These are bad subject lines, you say, but then what would you provide as an example of a good subject line?

  4. Karellen says:

    Heh. Subjects in all-caps, or those with long sequences (>= 3) of ascii punctuation tend to get gobbled by my spam filter.

    You could just hit "mark as spam". If/when you get a followup asking why you haven’t replied, reply that it looks like the message is in your spam folder(0), and you don’t always notice messages that go in there(1). Suggest that a less-spam-alike subject line might make this less likely to get noticed by your spam filter in the future.(2)

    (0) is deliberately misleading but technically true. (1) is probably true for you (It is for me, and I don’t know that many people who rigorously go through their spam folder. That would defeat the point of the spam folder.) If you have an adaptive spam filter then (2) will also be true, as marking emails with such subject lines as spam will teach your spam filter to automatically mark emails with subjects like those as spam in the future, causing less headache for you.

    Slowly, users will learn not to use spamish/useless subject lines in their emails if they want them to get read/noticed!

    Spike > Acutally, you wouldn’t be. By writing a sane, non-capitalised, punctuation-lite, meaningful subject line, your email would actually stand out. :)

  5. Karellen says:

    Keith > ESR’s "How to ask questions the smart way"[0] has a section on how to write good email subject lines.

    [0] http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html#bespecific

  6. James Goodwin says:

    You missed out the blank subject lines…

    I know a couple of people who have to put RE: at the beginning of every subject. Quite why, nobody knows, it just means people spend 20 seconds wondering where the rest of the message is.

  7. Maurits says:

    Windows 2003 IIS issue

    What’s wrong with this one?  At least it describes the problem context.  Unless it was sent to the "Windows 2003 IIS issues" distribution list.

  8. Kip says:

    I’ve had people go the opposite way: put the entire question in the subject line.  Then you click on the message and in the preview pane all you see is the default "Thanks!  –Steve" or whatever.

    Then you give a response, and there is a follow-up question, and now you have a whole thread whose subject contains a question that was answered twenty e-mails ago.

  9. Shuva says:

    I guess this tip equally applies to blog subject lines too. With so many RSS feeds to go through, picking a nice and appropriate is just being nice.

  10. Ben L says:

    I often have a hard time writing subject lines for both personal and work-related emails.  They didn’t teach this in grade school.  It might be why I prefer IM to emails.

  11. J says:

    "It might be why I prefer IM to emails."

    The same people who dislike poor subject lines probably dislike when people use instant messages inefficiently too.

    Them:  hey

    Me: Hey.

    Them:  i have a question

    Me: OK.

    Them:  <question here>

    Just like the subject line, people need to train themselves to get to the point.

  12. James Schend says:

    James: I think the "Re:" people think that Re stands for "Regarding this subject" and not "Regarding the previously sent email". At least that’s all I can think of.

  13. Snarky Commenter says:

    I am amused by this juxtaposition at the bottom of today’s post: "Filed under: Non-Computer, email". Do you generally read your email without a computer, Raymond?

  14. Keith says:

    I think the "Re:" people think that Re stands for "Regarding this subject" and not "Regarding the previously sent email". At least that’s all I can think of.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Latin_phrases_%28P%E2%80%93Z%29#R

    According to Wikipedia, it’s actually Latin. It’s the ablative of "res", and is more literally "by the thing", or in English: "about, concerning".

    Prior to e-mail, I seem to recall it being not entirely uncommon to use in an opening letter or in a memo, to indicate the subject/topic of the letter/memo at hand, regardless of whether it was a reply or not. I cannot, however, find a source for this, so take it with a healthy cup of salt.

  15. nah says:

    If you happen to work in helpdesk, you should shut up, take a deep breath, and answer the question as politely as you can.

    Otherwise, you should forward the question to helpdesk.

    Sure, customers are idiots, but they pay you your salary. So, you should love them.

  16. Nar says:

    //[QQ] – Question about job objects

    I hope you’re not lumping that in with, say:

    [Project Alpha Green] New Top-Secret Lab Location

    That’s a useful automated sorting cue, and not usually extraneous unless your email address is used solely for one topic or you can easily and automatically classify incoming mail by other cues.

  17. Triangle says:

    I find it amusing how people seem to think ignoring people will somehow make them go away.

  18. Mop says:

    Another reason to choose good subject lines:  I tend to search archives of distribution lists to see if my question has already been answered before annoying everyone with a FAQ.  I’m much more likely to find the information I need if your subject is "Space Complexity of Quicksort" instead of "SORTING QUESTION!!!".  Consider who else might find the answer to your question useful, and do them a favor.

  19. Ben Cooke says:

    It’s interesting that you should post this today, Raymond, for today one of my collegues asked me why I tend to send messages to companies with the name of the company in the subject line. Like this, for example:

    To: Mr Customer <mrcustomer@amazingcompany.com>

    Subject: Recent Downtime on the Amazing Company website

    My collegue insisted that I should instead write "Downtime on your website", because the company knows what its name is.

    Of course, the main reason I do this is so that when the recipient ultimately responds to me I’ll have something sensible to search on in my email client.

    On the other hand, Mr Customer often sends me messages with subjects like "site down" and "help". Since they are From: Mr Customer and not From: Amazing Company, this forces me to remember that Mr Customer works for Amazing Company.

    You could argue that I should search by sender or recipient email address instead, but when it comes to quickly scanning the message list with my eyes it’s far easier to hunt for the company’s name.

  20. Cooney says:

    IM stuff:

    Them:  hey

    Me: Hey.

    Them:  i have a question

    This is easy – the first hey is hey, are you there? I don’t want to type out this question if you arent.

  21. joel8360 says:

    Them:  hey

    Are you way from your keyboard? Are you ignoring interruptions?

    Them:  i have a question

    May I engage you in conversation long enough to flush your short term memory so you forget what you’re doing right now?

  22. Keith says:

    This is easy – the first hey is hey, are you there? I don’t want to type out this question if you arent.

    However, if anyone IMs me with just "hey" at work, I ignore it, because clearly it’s unimportant. It’s okay to start the IM with "Hey," for politeness, but get to the question as soon as possible. That way I can immediately see the question and respond to it and move on to other people who have questions, instead of waiting on you to type it.

    Also, look at my status icon. That’s a good way of knowing if I’m around or not.

    Chances are, if you’re going to type the question out to me if I’m around to answer it, you would have typed it out to someone else if I’m not. You type it once, then copy-paste if necessary.

    Casual conversation’s certainly different, but in a work environment, please get to the point so that we can both accomplish our jobs faster.

  23. Another problem with these subject lines is when you’re out of town and you see a mail like:

    Subject: BUG 12345

    Body: Based on what I can tell so far I think might be caused by your recent check-in.

    I got one of these on my smartphone shortly after leaving for holiday vacation, with no ability to RAS in and take a look. It sat in the back of my mind for the rest of the trip, nagging me. (Was it a high priority bug? Is it something subtle in that’s going to take somebody days to figure out that I may be able to easily debug? Was somebody that’s not out of town giving up their vacation time to fix this?)

  24. Puckdropper says:

    Summarizing’s hard for most people.  That’s probably why the subject lines are often written quite poorly.  You have, maybe 10 words to describe the whole email.  Plus, most people try to avoid redundency so they don’t like to say the same thing in the subject as the body.

  25. Brian says:

    The problem is people write subjects first.  The subject edit box should really be under the body so people will be more likely to write the body first then summarize it in the subject box.

  26. Cooney says:

    Also, look at my status icon. That’s a good way of knowing if I’m around or not.

    doesn’t cover the ‘here but busy’ status.

  27. Zian says:

    @Cooney

    In Windows Live Messenger, there’s a "Busy" flag.

  28. Mike says:

    the second sin of repeating their question

    verbatim because nobody answered it.

    Nobody answered it because the subject line

    was not obviously in anybody’s specific

    area of expertise.

    On a high volume list, the person with the expertise might not see the question due to being out at the time it is sent, and is likely to miss it because who scrolls through a hundred messages to see if there happens to be one they can answer.  At least that is what folks that do this are thinking, I think.

  29. BOFH says:

    Bad communicators really bug me too.

    There’s one onboard now who will always, *always*, enter her first name as the subject of every email she sends, every time.

  30. Miral says:

    "However, if anyone IMs me with just "hey" at work, I ignore it, because clearly it’s unimportant. It’s okay to start the IM with "Hey," for politeness, but get to the question as soon as possible. That way I can immediately see the question and respond to it and move on to other people who have questions, instead of waiting on you to type it."

    Now, you see, you’re violating the IM protocol by doing that.

    The first "hey" is like a TCP SYN — it’s saying "I would like to talk to you, are you there?".  Then your response ("hey" or "hi") is a TCP ACK — "Yes, I’m here, proceed."

    The following "i have a question" is redundant and can usually be ignored; it’s basically just a topic identifier.  But that very first message is critical.

    (And no, you can’t just look at status icons.  I know several people at work who have theirs set permanently on Busy and others that are usually on Away but aren’t actually very far from the keyboard.  Especially since many programs get confused when someone is remoting into their desktop rather than actually sitting at the computer and erroneously mark them as Away.)

    "Windows 2003 IIS issue"

    That seems perfectly valid to me (unless that’s the only topic for that list) — at least it gives a context.  I’ve often used subjects like "Product XYZ feedback" before, because there isn’t much else you can usefully say in the subject line.

  31. Jim says:

    Mr. Chen, why are you asking such a hard question? We are human again and many times we do not know what we are doing and what we are supposed to do. What I should put in the subject line, you FXXX tell me!

  32. Puckdropper says:

    When it comes to IM, sometimes I don’t need an answer right right away (that’s what the telephone’s for), but I do want a response soon.  Even if someone’s away, I’ll send a message which they can get back to when they get to it.

  33. Cooney says:

    If I don’t need a response anytime soon, email is just peachy.

  34. Aaron says:

    At least useless subject lines are just an indication of ignorance and carelessness.  People fail to understand that e-mail is not an analogue of face-to-face or phone communication, and was never intended to be.  To them, the subject line is the opening dialogue to a conversation.  "Hey, how’s it going?"  "Can I ask you something?"  Etc.

    The obnoxious punctuation comes from people who definitely *do* understand the difference, and are deliberately abusing it to get attention.  People in the former category deserve to be ignored; people in the latter deserve to be smacked.

  35. erk says:

    Even if my spam filters didn’t catch those (which they shouldn’t–spam filters should catch spam, not things with subject lines that happen to look like spam), I’d probably have dropped all three of those as spam automatically, unless I happened to recognize the sender.

    I know one person that *always* set the "Importance: High" header on all of his mails.  It’s like people on web forums that set a big font size and use a bold colorful font to make their posts stand out from the rest–their posts are more important than everyone else’s, I guess.

  36. MS says:

    "Bad communicators really bug me too.

    There’s one onboard now who will always, *always*, enter her first name as the subject of every email she sends, every time."

    I’m terribly puzzled by this.  What is the genesis of this behavior?  I have never heard of this before, so it is not like there are examples to learn from.  Perhaps the person came up with it on their own, but I can’t imagine the thought process… "Hmm, subject, subject, I wonder what goes in there… oh yes I am always the subject of any good conversation!"

  37. Mr Cranky says:

    "When it comes to IM… I’ll send a message which they can get back to when they get to it."

    Good idea!  I used to be enraged by sometimes hours-long IRC exchanges like this:

    10:01 – [Dumbass] Joe, are you there?

    10:32 – [Joe] Yep, what’s up?

    11:15 – [Dumbass] Oops, I was at a meeting.  Are you still there?

    12:20 – [Joe] Back from lunch now, what is it?

    13:07 – [Dumbass] Joe?

    13:45 – [Joe] You got a question, D?

    14:30 – [Dumbass] You still around, Joe?

    14:31 – [Joe] sigh…

    14:32 – [Dumbass] Finally!  Do you still have the XYZ book?

    14:33 – [Joe] No, I returned it during my lunch break.

    14:34 – [Dumbass] Oh, shoot.  I really need it today.

    14:34 – [Sue] I had a copy, but I lent it to Bill about an hour ago.

    14:35 – [Bob] Lucy has a copy, I think, but she just went home.

  38. MS says:

    "I know one person that *always* set the "Importance: High" header on all of his mails. "

    When this happens you can overreact appropriately.  Call them right away and say "I saw your email had the high importance flag, and I figured it was important enough to call you directly without reading the email first."  It should oh-so-subtly tell them that they’re being obnoxious.  It works better if you’re on vacation so you can claim that you have a filter that lets through urgent emails.

  39. andy says:

    > I know one person that *always* set the "Importance: High" header on all of his mails.

    Heh. It’s much more common, for me at least, to see people write "IMPORTANT!!!" (or similar) in the subject-line, instead of using the "high importance" flag.

  40. falcon li says:

    Yes, I don’t like seeing these, these tell me nothing, and are no any help.

  41. GreaseMonkey says:

    Why "] Kernel objects naming convention ["? They should be saying "KernelObjectsNamingConvention" instead.

    OH, anD THIs ThINg Is reALly aNnOYiNG. i sEe It All THe tIMe On soCIal nETWorKing wEBSItEs, aNd iT’S lamE, UNORIGInAL, And JUsT makES you look liKe aN Idiot. EspEcIalLy whEn i can USe a pytHON sCRiPt liKE this:

    import random

    s = raw_input("–>")

    ss = ”

    for o in s:

       if random.random() < 0.5:

           ss += o.lower()

       else:

           ss += o.upper()

    print ss

    Remember kids, always leave the shift key to the experts!

  42. Gabe says:

    Here’s the subject line of an email I just got:

    SRX8432197093ID – 26Jan/1200-1300/PST/ESC/XpP/SeT/CHKDSK found errors on file system/when run the chkdsk

    I hope it means something to the person who sent it to me, because it doesn’t mean much to me.

  43. mikeb says:

    >> The problem is people write subjects first.  The subject edit box should really be under the body so people will be more likely to write the body first then summarize it in the subject box. <<

    This is definitely true.  And it’s a practice I often follow of my own accord – that way I can usually copy-n-paste the first sentence of my message into the subject field to get what usually amounts to a decent subject (probably with a minor edit or two).  Hey, remember topic sentences from grade school?  They still apply.

    Unfortunately I often forget to go back and add the subject, so for mailers that don’t warn me about an empty subject field I end up sending an email with no subject.  Then I feel bad and/or foolish.  No doubt this makes me *look* foolish.

  44. ShawnSt says:

    I’m really getting annoyed by the growing number of people who click the [+] to expand the distribution list into discrete email addresses, thereby simultaneously breaking everyone’s carefully crafted inbox rules and bloating the size of the mail such that subsequent reply-all responses nearly double the size of the mail thread with each response.

    And of course the thread is inevitably tagged as (!) important and anything else they can think of to make people drop what they are doing and read it right away. Sometimes they even combine the blank subject technique with this or "911", "411", "URGENT"

  45. Jonathan says:

    The subject can lose relevance when forwarded to different team. Suppose you have a project with many different components, one of which is IIS. So a mail "IIS question" is appropriate – the guy in your team in charge of the IIS component should pick it up.  But, if he forwards it to some IIS discussion group, it is no longer appropriate. And I found that people rarely edit the subjects.

    And of-course, threads going off-topics preserve their original subjects.

  46. Absolute_Zero says:

    My issue is not so much the "how" niceties of email, but who. I’ve got 20 lines of code incorporating nought but 4 non-malformed user32 calls and it BSOD’s Vista every time. Who/what/where should I report to within the vast behemoth that is MS? Then I can worry about a suitable subject line.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Absolute Zero: if you’re absolutely certain it’s got nothing to do with the hardware you’re using, and will work on pretty much any Vista OEM machine you find, send it to secure@microsoft.com.  Otherwise, whinge to whoever supports your machine.

    Keith (re ‘re’): it was most commonly used in memos and faxes, but it’s still quite common to hear people saying "re" to mean "concerning".  It’s shorter than "about" or "subject", which is probably why it was chosen for the recursive subject in replies.

  48. A says:

    Greasemonkey

    Remember kids, always leave the shift key to the experts!

  49. Morten says:

    @Triangle: "I find it amusing how people seem to think ignoring people will somehow make them go away."

    Oh, they will, eventually. There may be a bit of shouting and namecalling first but hey, they do that anyway, so I don’t let that bother me. The best part is that if they’re pissed enough every future communication will come through my boss and so be vetted for importance first. Can’t lose.

  50. XML says:

    When I am World Dictator I will impose an XML schema on email subject headings.

    <header><encoding>7bit</encoding><version>1.0</version><quirksMode>0</quirksMode><legacyquirksmode>Off</legacyquirksmode></header><bugreport><customerRef>16856</customerRef><supplierRef>876</supplierRef><shortDescrptiveFreeTextFieldForSummaryAndTheLike>Help!</shortDescrptiveFreeTextFieldForSummaryAndTheLike></bugreport><footer>NULL</footer>

    I will probably patent some parts of it. I’ll add Base64 encoding too and encourage its use to facilitate the use of non ASCII characters in fields.

  51. Hello Raymond! I wondered what happened to you after our days at ECN when you left for Redmond. I’m glad to see you have done so well for yourself. Contratulations!

    Victor

  52. Keith says:

    The first "hey" is like a TCP SYN — it’s saying "I would like to talk to you, are you there?".  Then your response ("hey" or "hi") is a TCP ACK — "Yes, I’m here, proceed."

    And for casual conversations, I prefer it that way. But it bothers me when I have to cut out a part of my work to sit there and wait for them to type out the question.

    If I’m not there, then I’ll answer it when I get back. If it’s urgent, then they can easily copy-paste it to someone else.

    (And no, you can’t just look at status icons.  I know several people at work who have theirs set permanently on Busy and others that are usually on Away but aren’t actually very far from the keyboard.  Especially since many programs get confused when someone is remoting into their desktop rather than actually sitting at the computer and erroneously mark them as Away.)

    My company has an internally-developed Instant Messaging program, and it handles this pretty well. It has an indicator of whether the person’s computer is locked or not, and also syncs with Outlook to indicate when someone’s in a scheduled meeting.

    So even if you have your status set as "busy", it can be seen whether you’re at your computer or not (essentially).

    I do agree that there’s some reason for it in casual conversation–but in a business context, I much prefer the "hey" and the subsequent question to be in the same IM.

  53. James Schend says:

    BryanK, what if I want to send to everyone on the list BUT Joe Blow?

    So I’m in a department that’s mostly in Seattle, but there are two people in New York. I bring in fresh-baked cookies, so I want to send an email to everyone to say "hey come get a cookie." But it would be plain rude to send that email to the people in the New York office, since they are 4000 miles away from the cookies.

    In Outlook, I can solve this by adding the distribution list, clicking the + to expand it, then removing the two people in our department in New York.

    What’s your email product’s solution to this problem? (And don’t say Notes has one; I’ve used Notes and it’s a turd.)

  54. J says:

    "What’s your email product’s solution to this problem?"

    Have 3 lists.  "Everybody",  "Everybody in Seattle", and "Everybody in New York".  Pretty damn easy solution.

  55. ShawnSt says:

    Jonathan: "So a mail "IIS question" is appropriate"

    I’d dispute that is completely appropriate… I think it should be something like: "x happening when used with IIS,foo,bar" so that it accurately depicts a summary of the issue.

    If you send "IIS question" to an IIS DL then its stating the obvious… ALL the questions would be IIS questions. :-) :-)

    BryanK: "That’s why Outlook/Exchange are evil (well, it’s one reason), as no other mail server/client pair lets users do that."

    It is a perfectly valid feature to have… if I want to send mail to a group of people to organize a surprise party, I’ll want to remove the name of the person(s) involved in the surprise from the list. Making me go find out who is on the list and manually add them would be quite a pain.

    That said, perhaps it should be turned off in Outlook by default, and something you have to go turn on if you are an advanced user who knows what you are doing. (much like the BCC field is hidden by default)

  56. BryanK says:

    ShawnSt: That’s why Outlook/Exchange are evil (well, it’s one reason), as no other mail server/client pair lets users do that.  Or at least, none that I know of: Notes, or something like it, might.  I suppose anything that stores the members of a list in a place that the users can get at might do it.

    But that’s why member lists should always be accessible *only* to the server (and any admins), not other members.  If you want your message to go to everyone that’s on the list, send it to the list address (where the list server will add a List-Id: header, solving your filtering problem in any mail client other than Outlook XP/2003 (I’m not sure whether 2007 will let you filter on headers) ;-) ).  If the user can’t get to the list of members, then the user can’t expand that list.

    Of course, that takes more than just AD/Exchange (it probably takes another entire mail server program that’s built for handling list server software like Mailman or something, unless that mailing list software will hook into Exchange), so most companies won’t do it.  Doesn’t mean it’s the wrong solution in general though, just that it may (or may not) be wrong for them…

  57. BrotherLaz says:

    Email titles I got regarding a product I support (a game mod):

    HEY YOU

    dude can u help me

    OMGOMGOMGGGGG

    how do i progam ur game

    your mod

    i got it what do i do now ??? (<- this one was blank)

    danny

    lol

    TOOOO HARD

    110 (<- game version: 1.10)

    windows

    ????? WHICH

    Sigh.

  58. AC says:

    Have 3 lists.  "Everybody",  "Everybody in Seattle", and "Everybody in New York".  Pretty damn easy solution.

    I.e., if the problem’s too hard, solve an easier problem and call it a day.

  59. Alex says:

    It happens to me quite often, people send such an email, or contact me via IM and use a "protocol" such as the one described in the previous comments.

    When I tell them about how un-optimal their strategy is, and how they should behave in the future, they call me  %insert_slightly_offensive_word_here% and add such a statement:

    <em>"If you gave me the answer immediately, instead of writing all this crap about multi-tasking and priorities, you would’ve saved so much time!"</em> Aaarghh!! This discussion has inspired me to write a story about this on my site, and simply give them the URL when the time comes. I hope I won’t have to send the link to the same person more than three times.

  60. Maurits says:

    if the problem’s too hard, solve an easier problem and call it a day.

    Sounds like a quote from Sun Tzu (win the battle by not being there.)

  61. Triangle says:

    Monday, January 28, 2008 4:15 AM by Alex

    <em>"If you gave me the answer immediately,

    instead of writing all this crap about multi-tasking and priorities, you would’ve saved so much time!"</em> Aaarghh!! This discussion has inspired me to write a story about this on my site, and simply give them the URL when the time comes. I hope I won’t have to send the link to the same person more than three times.

    There is a word to describe what you’re doing: being antisocial. Granted, social protocol is not as efficient as it could be. However, you can’t change it. All you’ll accomplish is a making people averse to talking to you, which will actually make things less productive!

  62. Raymond has had lots of great posts over the years on how to not get a question answered. Some of the

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