[Ads-l] Garbling (Re: on national grammar day)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Mar 24 20:58:16 UTC 2016


Thank you for writing your note, David Champion. I suspected that the
mailing list server software was somehow mishandling the message
headers, but I did not have the expertise to identify the problem.

I usually read the mailing list messages via gmail in a browser window
and the scrambled messages are a problem. Perhaps there is some way to
configure the mailing list software so that it handles headers
correctly.

Garson

On Thu, Mar 24, 2016 at 4:06 PM, David Champion <dgc.ads at bikeshed.us> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       David Champion <dgc.ads at BIKESHED.US>
> Subject:      Re: Garbling (Re: on national grammar day)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> I'll de-lurk for this - finally a topic I'm not an abject amateur in!
>
> This isn't a problem with e-mail apps, it's a problem with LISTSERV,
> which is frankly a rather antiquated piece of list management software
> that frequently does not follow e-mail norms or standards.
>
> Most of the garbling I see here is an equal symbol followed by two
> (hexademical) digits, which is a form of encoding called "quoted
> printable" or QP. It protects non-ASCII content such as accented
> characters, smart quotes, and emoji during ASCII transport.  It's great,
> and almost all e-mail software supports it.
>
> However, there's a rule for indicating that a message is QP-encoded.  If
> the message has a header:
>
>         Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
>
> then it will be properly decoded.  If it doesn't, then it _shouldn't_ be
> decoded.  If you see these "garbled" messages, it's because your client
> is aggressive in assuming QP encoding even when it's not explicit.
>
> LISTSERV is either QP-encoding e-mail and not inserting that header, or
> it's removing that header from QP-encoded mail.  (Sometimes this happens
> under the moniker of "de-MIMEing" or "MIME defanging".  It's a primitive
> yet effective way of blocking e-mail-based malware.)  Anyway, that's why
> we see the garbling on the list.  It's something that UGA's LISTSERV
> admins need to resolve.
>
> Best,
> David
>
> * On 24 Mar 2016, Joel Berson wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET>
>> Subject:      Re: Garbling (Re: on national grammar day)
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> It's not everyone who sees such messages garbled.=C2=A0 I, for example, hav=
>> e received them all (except for a few a while back), from both Ben and Denn=
>> is, in readable form.
>>
>> However, to be kind to those whose email apps are not smart enough to handl=
>> e "smart quotes", accented letters, etc., perhaps Ben and Dennis can try se=
>> nding a test message in "plain text", and ask those who have seen garbled m=
>> essages whether that loses the troublesome characters without also losing o=
>> ther information.
>>
>> Joel
>>
>>       From: Benjamin Barrett <mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM>
>>  To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU=20
>>  Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 1:43 AM
>>  Subject: [ADS-L] Garbling (Re: on national grammar day)
>>   =20
>> There have always been problems on the ADS list with garbled characters. I =
>> looked on the Linguist List but didn=E2=80=99t see this issue addressed. It=
>>  seems that some people don=E2=80=99t have this problem, but it=E2=80=99s r=
>> eally frustrating for me to try to figure out which garblings are quotation=
>>  marks, which are accented Latin letters and which are from other languages=
>> . Even equal signs come to me as garbled characters. I generally just muddl=
>> e through, though I can always go to the website to find posts without the =
>> garbling.
>>
>> Dennis Baron=E2=80=99s posts are even more problematic as they are 100 perc=
>> ent garbled for at least those of us who receive the other sorts of garblin=
>> gs. Again, you can get his postings without the garbling on the website.
>>
>> Is there a way to fix this problem?
>>
>> Benjamin Barrett
>> Formerly of Seattle, WA
>>
>> > On 22 Mar 2016, at 22:22, Mark Mandel <thnidu at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>> >=20
>> > Eh?
>> >=20
>> > On Mar 6, 2016 1:00 PM, "Baron, Dennis E" <debaron at illinois.edu> wrote:
>> >>=20
>> >>=20
>> > TGFycnksDQoNClJlOiBCcCBMb3d0aDogWW91ciBjb21tZW50IHByb21wdGVkIG1lIHRvIGxvb=
>> 2sg
>> >>=20
>> > bW9yZSBjbG9zZWx5IGF0IHRoZSB3b3JrSS4gTG93dGggZG9lcyB1c2UgdGhhdCBkb3VibGUgb=
>> mVn
>> >>=20
>> > YXRpdmUgY29tbWVudCBpbiB0aGUgMTc2MyBlZGl0aW9uLCBwLiAxMzkuIEl0IGRvZXMgbm90I=
>> GFw
>> >>=20
>> > cGVhciBpbiB0aGUgZmlyc3QgZWQuLCAxNzYyLiBJIHRvbyBoYXZlIHNlZW4gdGhvc2UgbWFue=
>> SBx
>> >>=20
>> > ...
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>
> --
> David Champion • dgc at bikeshed.us
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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