Bryn Mawr Alumnae Association

General Guidelines for Alumnae Association list-serves.

Created by members of the BMCALUM-L list

The BMC Alumnae Association discussion lists are closed lists that can be joined by any person who has received a degree from Bryn Mawr, attended Bryn Mawr, or is currently a second semester senior at Bryn Mawr.

We are also in the process of creating new list-serves for the individual Undergraduate classes.

To Subscribe: To UnSubscribe:

Posting to the list
To send a message to the list, mail it to

* Always sign messages with name and year.

* If you are replying to a message but are changing the subject of the conversation, change the subject too - or better still, start a new message altogether. The subject is usually the easiest way to follow the thread of a conversation, so changing the conversation without changing the subject can be confusing and can make filing difficult.

* Remember to put line breaks in your documents because your e-mail software may wrap lines for you, but it causes problems for list members whose software does not.

Message Length, Content and Format
* Try to match your message length to the tenor of the conversation: if you are only making a quick query, then keep it short and to the point.

* In general, keep to the subject as much as possible. If you need to branch off onto a totally new and different topic then it's often better to send a new message, which allows the recipient the option of filing it separately.

* Don't type your message in all-uppercase - it's extremely difficult to read (although a short stretch of uppercase may serve to emphasize a point heavily). Try to break your message into logical paragraphs and restrict your sentences to sensible lengths.

* Avoid public "flames" - messages sent in anger. Messages sent in the heat of the moment generally only exacerbate the situation and are usually regretted later. Settle down and think about it for a while before starting a flame war. (Try going and making yourself a cup of coffee - it's amazing how much you can cool down even in that short a time, besides which a cup of good coffee is a great soother).

* Please do not send attached documents to the group. Some mailing software will do this automatically, but these types of documents take longer to download and may cause your message to look like lines and lines of nonsense. If you suspect that you may be doing this, feel free to ask the list members. Your internet service provider should be able to help you stop this.

* Include enough of the original message to provide a context. Remember that Electronic Mail is not as immediate as a telephone conversation and the recipient may not recall the contents of the original message, especially if he or she receives many messages each day. Including the relevant section from the original message helps the recipient to place your reply in context.

* Include only the minimum you need from the original message. One of the most annoying things you can encounter in e-mail is to have your original 5-page message quoted back at you in its entirety, with the words "Me too" added at the bottom. Quote back only the smallest amount you need to make your context clear.

* Use some kind of visual indication to distinguish between text quoted from the original message and your new text - this makes the reply much easier to follow. ">" is a traditional marker for quoted text, but you can use anything provided its purpose is clear and you use it consistently.

* Pay careful attention to where your reply is going to end up: it can be embarrassing for you if a personal message ends up on a mailing list, and it's generally annoying for the other list members.

* Ask yourself if your reply is really warranted - a message sent to a list server that only says "I agree" is probably better sent privately to the person who originally sent the message.

Signatures: Don't include additional files, such as graphics, signatures. If your mailer attaches a copy of the message as a separate file, please disable this feature.

Internet Acronyms
Many acronyms are common on the Internet because many of us prefer to reduce the amount of typing we have to do. Here's a guide to the most common of them, so that you don't get confused.

BTW - By The Way
FWIW - For What It's Worth
IMD - In My Day (BMC only, thanks to Carolyn Lucretia '46)
IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
IMO - In My Opinion
LOL - Laughing Out Loud -or- Lots Of Laughs
ROTFL - Rolling on the Floor Laughing
ROTFLOL - Rolling On The Floor Laughing Out Loud
RTFM - Read The Fine Manual
TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get (Pronouced whizzy-wig)
YMMV - Your Mileage May Vary

Home / Bryn Mawr
Bryn Mawr College
Alumnae Association
Wyndham, 101 N. Merion Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899
Phone: 610-526-5227 Fax: 610-526-5228 Toll Free: 800-BMC-ALUM
Questions or comments about this site - contact Megan A. Grant

Date Created: September 8, 1999
Last Modified: July 2, 2001