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jdavidb (1361)

jdavidb
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http://voiceofjohn.blogspot.com/

J. David Blackstone has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and nine years of experience at a wireless telecommunications company, where he learned Perl and never looked back. J. David has an advantage in that he works really hard, he has a passion for writing good software, and he knows many of the world's best Perl programmers.

Journal of jdavidb (1361)

Thursday March 02, 2006
03:52 PM

"Email loops"

[ #28849 ]

Why do I encounter so many non-technical people who refer to mailing lists as "email loops"? Was this a term on AOL or Compuserve or something? Does anyone know the history behind this term, or was it just something adopted in a mass conspiracy of non-technical people to make technical people silently cringe?

For that matter, why do I let it bother me? Does it bother any of you? (Do any of you even see it? Are you on any mailing lists that are not technical and include people who have not been on the Internet since before 1996?)

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  • I've never heard the term in that context. Thankfully.

    Of course I'm familiar with the term to refer to mail bouncing between two email hosts, adding junk in each bounce until it brings some part of the system down. So, the bastardization of that term to mean a simple email list, does make me cringe.

    Are you on any mailing lists that are not technical and include people who have not been on the Internet since before 1996?

    Yes.
    --

    -DA [coder.com]

  • It occurs to me that people may have heard the term in its proper technical sense, and merely thought it meant "an automatic sending of email from one person to an entire list". Then propagated it because it sounded sexy.

    *shudder*
    --

    -DA [coder.com]

    • That would make sense.

      I'm not sure if the proper meaning of "mail loop" is the reason why I cringe at this term, since I've done very little mail configuration and rarely hear of or think of that term. But it really makes me cringe, and I'm trying to figure out why, along with figuring out the etymology of this term. Maybe all that bothers me is the fact that there is a name for this thing, and it's called a "mailing list," and it bugs me that people make up other names like "email loop" for something t

      --
      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
  • I think the easiest way to correct this mistaken terminology would be to offer to set these people up with a real email loop. The experience should be memorable enough for them never to make the same mistake again ;-)

    And no, I've never heard this term being used with this meaning. But it's useful to know, might avoid some confusion down the road if I ever do come across it.

  • maybe folks knew of web rings and though that some sort of community based on email could be in a loopy configuration, and latched onto the 'email loop' moniker when they heard it without understanding the meaning.