Columbia MM
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Inserting the text of the original message into your reply may both clarify and shorten your reply.


From the R> prompt, type reply including (or an abbreviation like reply inc). The simple command reply is the same as reply not-including. You can also use one of the address options, like reply all including, if desired.

 Message 73 (378 chars)
Return-Path: <jb51>
Received: by (5.59/FCB)
        id AA01344; Monday, 7 Sep 92 10:50:29 EDT
Date: Monday, 7 Sep 92 10:50:28 EDT
From: Joe Brennan <>
To: fb2
Cc: mm33, hk12
Subject: Meeting on Sept 21
Message-Id: <>

Let's meet on Sept 21 at 2:00 to go over plans for this semester.


R>reply inc
 Message (End with CTRL/D or ESC
  Use CTRL/B to insert a file, CTRL/E to enter editor, CTRL/F to run text
  through a filter, CTRL/K to redisplay message, CTRL/L to clear screen and
  redisplay, CTRL/N to abort, CTRL/P to run a program and insert output.):

OK, I can meet then.  --Fuat

From: Fuat Baran <>
To: Joseph Brennan <>
Subject: Re: Meeting on Sept 21
In-Reply-To: Your message of Mon, 7 Sep 92 10:50:28 EDT

> Let's meet on Sept 21 at 2:00 to go over plans for this semester.
> Joe

OK, I can meet then.  --Fuat


In the example, including the original really makes the reply much more clear. The date of the meeting is in the subject line, but not the time. Whenever you reply, bear in mind the inevitable lag for the other person between writing the original and reading your reply. Be sure your reply is understandable, either by including the original or by spelling out what you're talking about in your own message. By including the original, you may be able to write a very short reply.


The original message is set off by a > sign at the start of each line; to be exact, there are two indent characters, a > sign and a space, at the beginning of each line. This is the most common indent in general use, but you can change it if you like. The variable reply-indent defines the indent characters in use. To change it, type set reply-indent and then type your desired indent characters inside quotation marks. Use save-init to save the change. To reset the normal indent, type set reply-indent "> " (note it is > and a space, within quotes).

A short indent, like two or three characters, is advisable, so that the original text does not run off the right margin. MM and most mail programs set a right margin for outgoing mail that is several spaces in from the right, so that a message can be set off by a few indent characters without having to wrap awkwardly.


The normal situation is that reply means reply not-including, and you specify reply including when that is desired. You can reverse this default by changing the variable reply-insert, normally set to no. Type set reply-insert yes and then save-init to save the change. Then reply will mean reply including, and you can specify reply not-including when you want to leave out the original message.


At the MM> prompt, only the message-sequence is specified on the line with the command reply. At the prompt Send reply for message n to: , you can specify including or not-including (as well as to whom to send the reply, sender, all or none). You can also just press the return key, and (as at the R> prompt), not-including is normally assumed if you have not specified either option.

MM>reply 73
 Send reply for message 73 to: ? keyword, one of the following:
 all      none     sender
  or keyword, one of the following:
 including       not-including
 Send reply for message 73 to: including


If you use Emacs to write the reply, you can do interesting things with included original text. You can use Emacs commands to delete irrelevant portions, so that your reply message contains quotes from the original rather than all of it, which is desirable if the original is long. You can also interleave your comments with parts of the original: quote a section, comment on it, quote some more, comment on that, and so on. If you do not use Emacs, avoid including a long original message.

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