mails with no Subject: line

Ethan Blanton elb at
Fri Nov 27 08:49:30 EST 2009

at 2009-11-26T20:47-0500, John Bailey wrote:
> It's been threatened before to make all our mailing lists forcibly
> reject mail without proper subject lines, but nothing has come of that
> yet.  For the record, I'm fully in favor of rejecting blank subjects.

I wouldn't say "threatened".  I have in the past intended to bounce
certain formulaically non-useful emails with a helpful set of
instructions on how to make an email more likely to engender a useful
response, and I'll probably do that at some point.  One such rule
would be an email with no subject, or one of a number of subject
patterns which are entirely useless ("help", "pidgin", "assistance",
"one question", etc.).  As someone states elsewhere in this thread, we
can't catch 100% of those, but that doesn't matter, and we don't have


The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws [that have no remedy
for evils].  They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor
determined to commit crimes.
		-- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
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