Re: [OT] Mark Twain [was Re: A bit of bomb throwing....]

From: Frank Manola <>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 11:16:25 -0500

Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
> Frank Manola wrote:
>> [offlist]
> happened onlist, so I'll continue here :-)

Yep. I hit "reply" and failed to notice that "from" and "reply-to" were
different (also past my bedtime!)

>> Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
>> snip
>>> P.S.: here is a design pattern that works very well for me: write the
>>> email that you would want to write and then instead of hitting
>>> "send", hit "delete". Then start again. You'll find that your
>>> emotional energy is much lowered and dissipated, therefore it's
>>> easier for you to ignore and move on.
>> FYI: Mark Twain gave the same advice in replying to mail (although
>> his mail was paper).
> Really? wow, it's an honor to have independently discovered that.
> Frank, do you have a pointer for that?

I remembered it from a book of Twain's selected letters, and he actually
  stated the principle in more than one place, in slightly different
language. The passage I remembered can be found online at (it starts part way
down the page). Apparently he applied this principle so often that he
started a series of matched pairs of letters: the unsent version and the
one he actually wound up sending. This is the proposed introduction to
the series. Needless to say, the unsent letters are hilarious!

A different passage where he says much the same thing can be found at
(and related pages).

Received on Thu Jan 19 2006 - 16:13:56 EST

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