Always a bad idea (*especially* binary ones). Text "attachments" should simply be incorporated into the body of the message.

Delete each line to which you are not replying. 40 lines of quote followed by two lines of reply will not be read by over 90% of us. We need to see the substance of your reply in the first 10 lines.

Subject lines
The archives is capable of organizing the "threads" of discussion. For this to succeed it is essential that the subject line be changed (preferably with a (Was Re: old subject). Those of us receiving the digest version are strongly encouraged to send separate messages in reply to each item and to alter the subject line to match the "thread".

Cultural sensitivity

  • The members of MARHST-L come from around the globe, as do their interests.
  • Remember, some of us (or the nation states in which we live), were on the "other side" in just about any armed conflict you can name.
  • Local abbreviations, are just that - local.
  • Your audience borders on most of the major salt waters, and a range of fresh water.
  • There is just about every variant of sea-going (and undersea-going) experience from, occasional ferry traveler, weekend diver, to people in active service (merchant and naval).
  • While almost all communication is in English, for a significant number of us, this is a second (third, or fourth) language.
  • Finally, we have a variety of experience and options (including none at all), with computer systems and this form of communication.

E-mail standards
Despite what the international media and others have to say about the World Wide Web and rapid technical change, email works on a much older set of standards. For a variety of reasons many us can only participate 'because' of those older standards. Don't send HTML style mail (the single exception being individual accented and other characters that are a necessary part of communication in a variety of languages).