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Subject: Percy-L: Literary, Religious, Scientific, and Philosophical Discussion on Walker Percy

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  • From: "Henry P. Mills" <wpercy1 AT>
  • To: <percy-l AT>
  • Subject: [percy-l] Percy-L Guidelines, Revised
  • Date: Sat, 30 Nov 2002 11:23:30 -0600



This document provides an overview of the Percy-L listserv discussion
policies followed by a list of the basic user commands for operating your
account. Please save this document for future reference.


The Percy-L forum is open to the discussion of all topics pertaining to the
work and thought of the American novelist and philosopher Walker Percy.
Students, general readers, and scholars are all welcome, as well as simply
the curious. There is no standing agenda for the list except the promotion
of commentary of the sort that one would expect from people with a special
interest in Percy. As such, the list will remain unmoderated unless some
future reason requires it. A diverse range of critical perspectives is
therefore welcomed, if not encouraged, as long as the manner and method of
expression are responsible and respectful of the parties they are addressed


Please consider introducing yourself to the other mailing list users even if
you plan to participate only as an observer. The more we all know what our
various interests are, the more likely it is that someone will address them
in some way. With any good fortune, as list discussion and participation
grow, Percy-L will develop into a vital community resource, from both its
ongoing inquiry into Percy's work and the record of discussion that follows
in the list's permanent archives. The more we invest ourselves in the list,
and in developing connections with one another, the more fully we will all
benefit from it through the communal undertaking it is.


You should feel free to introduce a new topic for discussion or to respond
to any existing "thread" or line of thought already in process at any time,
as you see fit. This medium of communication takes multiple "threads" of
discourse to be a given: anyone can enter into the discussion at any time,
just as those already involved in it can pay as much or as little attention
to whatever is of interest to them. Needless to say, both patience and
tolerance are encouraged in all matters related to the mailing list, for
electronic discussion of this sort is fraught with the potential for
misunderstanding, even as it provides for new channels of discussion.

If no one responds to your posts, you should not assume that it is because
of a lack of interest, or that your post is perceived as unimportant.
Frequently, the interested reader just doesn't have time to respond, and few
of us have time to answer more than a small percentage of the ones that are
of interest to us in any case. Therefore, pose your questions and comments
well by your own standards, and remind yourself that, even if there is no
direct response, what you have said or asked will be read by a large body of
people. And who is to say in what way ripples may occur? If response is
important to you, then wait a month or so and try your query again.


In replying to posted topics, you should provide a beginning line in your
message indicating who you are replying to and about what (brevity is
encouraged when it comes to quoting). For the same reason, you should also
have a closing signature line or block in all of your messages that
identifies who you are. How much information you wish to provide about
yourself is up to you, but the participants need enough information about
your identity to keep track of the conversational flow.


During group discussions, it is not infrequent that participants may
individually address others through the list, but such an occurrence does
not necessarily mean that the discussion has become "personal" in the sense
that it would best be conducted off-list. To put it in other words, what is
personal and what is _private_ are two separate matters. Rather, the
question at hand is whether the discussion concerns topics of broader
relevance to the purposes of the mailing list as a whole.

It is therefore more than acceptable for any number of individuals in public
electronic-based discussions of this sort to pursue special interests as
long as there is nothing exclusive of others in it, either explicitly or in
tone. However, if you have any problems about topics being posted or in
connection with the receipt or posting of your own messages, please contact
the list administrator at wpercy1 AT


In order to keep discussion focused on Percy subjects, please observe the
following discussion guidelines:

1) Avoid introducing political topics, unless they directly bear on
or are explicitly related to Percy and his thought. This rule does not
exclude current events from discussion, but merely underscores that this is
a listserv dedicated to Percy topics.

2) Please do not forward outside announcements through the list
unless a case can be made for a direct connection to Percy and the interests
of those who have joined the list. If in doubt, contact the list


In order to keep list operations efficient, please observe the following
technical guidelines:

1) Please send all messages through the listserv as plain text
messages rather than HTML-encoded. Not everyone's email client supports
HTML-encoded messages. In turn, any HTML formatting will be lost during the
message archiving routine. Check the preference settings on your specific
email client to determine in what format your messages are being sent. (If
you have the option of adding bold, italics, or font size to your email
text, you are using HTML-encoded email.) This same rule regarding
HTML-encoded emails also applies to external HTML documents you place in
your email messages. Do not paste these as HTML, but rather as text.

2) Do not send images through the listserv. If you wish for members
to see a particular image, place it on a web site and then direct the
members of the list to it by including the URL in your message body. Since
many members use a dial-up connection, this tactic provides individual users
with the option of viewing the image, and hence will limit frustration with
download times associated with the list. The same holds true for any other
media items such as sound, video, or animation files.

3) Lastly, please do not forward any large attachments through the
list. This rule also limits member frustration with long download times. If
you have a particular document to share that relates to Percy, please make
certain that its size is no more than 100kb. Also, be mindful of sending the
document in a format that will be readily accessible by all, for instance,
Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF. Alternatively, and perhaps the best option
given virus concerns (many members will be wary of opening a file
attachment), you can cut-and-paste the contents of your document directly
into the body of the email. Since this method presents the document in a
text-only format, the size of the document will be considerably smaller, and
there is no risk of transmitting/receiving a virus in a text-only email.


1) Please quote messages you are replying to sparingly, using your
cut, paste, and delete functions. A "reader-friendly" message has a better
chance of being responded to.

2) Avoid short, personal comments along the lines of "I agree,"
etc., that do not significantly advance Percy content discussion. These
would best be submitted solely to the person they are intended for rather
than to the listserv address (i.e., the entire membership). Please be
heedful of the time of the list members--many belong to multiple mailing
lists--by only submitting posts that in some shape or form better the
interests of the entire community.

3) Always fill in the "subject" box of your email to help readers
identify your topic of discussion.

4) Remember that if you use the "reply" command to a message you
have received through the list, your message will be distributed publicly to
all members of the list. In contrast, if you want to have private
correspondence with someone who has sent a message through the list, you
must create a _new_ e-mail and address it specifically to him or her lest
the entire list read your message.

5) To help individual members of the Percy-L community follow the
context of your comments, be attentive to your use of quoting and quote
identification methods. For example, consider beginning responses as

At 06:18 PM 9/17/96, Binx Bolling wrote:

>I am on a search!

Then add your own comments about the text in question (i.e., Binx's search).
In turn, if you add other quotes to your message from multiple posts, repeat
the process so it is clear where the material comes from. As before, the
better crafted and referenced your message, the more likely it will generate
thoughtful response from the community.



The following links and information will be useful to you in managing your
listserv account. All changes to your account require your specified
password. If you do not know your password, you may request that it be
mailed to you via the web page address below in the User Adminstration
section. Note: This is a hidden list. The member roster is available only to
the list administrator.


Please direct questions, comments, or other concerns about the Percy-L
Guidelines or about list operations to the list administrator at
wpercy1 AT


Subscribe via the listserv web page at:

To post to this list, send your email to:
percy-l AT

All messages are archived at the following address:

  • [percy-l] Percy-L Guidelines, Revised, Henry P. Mills, 11/30/2002

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