Psy-FL Help Page


What follows is intended to be help for those who are having difficulties with E-Mail, list sign-up and other simple functions on the Psy-FL list. This material is intended to be simple, easily understood and is aimed at those of us who are relatively naive about computer functions (as we all are when we start out in cyber space.... just ask my 86 year old mother who is trying to master E-mail now!). If you still have questions or are having difficulties after reading the information on the topic presented here, feel free to contact me at or for more experienced users, you may access a Listserv Manual at MANUAL.

At the end of each section, you will find a Top-of-Form Button.... pressing this button will return you to the subjects listing of this page. The Top-of-Form Button looks like this......


Click on any of the underlined topics below to read about that item:

How to recognize an E-Mail address from other web addresses:

Send E-Mail to the List system

Send E-Mail Back Channel

Set your Mail Options

Use Cut and Paste

Sign on to lists or send COMMAND messages:

Using Topic Headers:

Using the Psy-FL Archives:

Clean up your act:

Useful Abbreviations used in E-Mail:

Shorthand For Common Expressions in E-Mail:

Unsubscribing From the List   (:'^(


E-Mail verses Web addresses:

This is really simple, but can be confusing if you don't understand the concept. Basically, all E-mail addresses have the @ sign in the address. The part to the right of the @ sign, is the "domain" name. Think of a domain as a big room containing lots of people. The individual to whom you are writing is in the room, and is identified by that part of the E-mail address to the left of the @ sign. So my E-mail addresses are,, and All are my addresses, just at different domains. The .com indicates that it is a commercial domain, while .net indicates a network and .edu (as in indicates that it is an educational domain or room.

A Web site is a place on the internet designated for information placed there by the site owner. There "usually" is NO @ SIGN in a web site address. Web addresses however, always start with http://, and often start with http://www. which is simply short for the type of protocol (computer language) on the WorldWideWeb. My web address for my web pages can be reached by or or or or See the similarities?

Sending E-Mail to the List:

Sending mail to the Psy-FL list is very simple.

Address your post to

That's all there is to it. Jump in. The rewards are many. You will screw up like we all do, but that is how the learning process goes forward.

Replying to posts on the lists:

Generally speaking, to reply to a post on the list system, all one needs to do is hit "Reply" on their mail browser and the return post will be automatically addressed to the appropriate list. Do NOT press "Reply To All". However, please be careful to NOT re-send the entire previous posting back to the list. You will often wish to quote part of the item to which you are responding. One or two lines if fine and is appropriate. More than that is redundant, takes up unnecessary space in our archives and also violates our operating agreement with the St. Johns system. We need all of our members to practice good "netiquette".

So, to reply to a posting:

1. Hit REPLY on your mail browser title bar.

2. a. Some browers may be set to copy the previous post with quotations or "greater than" signs, to the reply window. Delete all parts of the previous message except the one or two lines you decide to leave as reference (if any).

2 b. Some browsers, (AOL for one), go to a blank slate when you hit REPLY unless you highlight the lines you wish to keep before hitting REPLY. This is a nice and convenient feature, but not available on all mail browsers. Some give you the option to be set either way.

3. Use quotes, or the internet standard notation >, to designate the section that you are quoting. Your mail browser may let you decide which form to use. If so, the "greater than" sign is probably the most recognized form in a return post.

4. Do NOT leave the original posting's headers or footers in your reply!

5. Press SEND. There. You've done it.

.............(Simple stuff, isn't it?)

Replying to a submitter, BACK CHANNEL:

Occasionally, you may wish to reply to someone who has posted to the list, but your reply is of importance or interest only to the person you are addressing and not the entire list membership. In such cases, you should reply "back channel" to the person you are addressing. That simply means that you address your response to the E-Mail address of the individual, rather than to the list address. Do NOT use the "Reply" button on your browser for a back channel response to a list submitter.

Occasionally the submitter will offer his/her E-Mail address in the original post and invite backchannel responses. If not, the E-Mail address of the submitter will be found in the HEADER of the posting you receive from the list. Your browser MAY be adjusted to not show the header when viewing incoming posts. If so, you may briefly use the Reply key to "set up" a reply, which will usually re-print the incoming header and reveal the return E-Mail address. Again, do not use Reply to send to the Back Channel address if the incoming post was from the list.

Finally, consider adding the individual's address to your Address Book, part of your mail browser, if you think you may have additional communication concerning the topic. This step can be helpful in the future. In any case, learn to use your address book if you are not familiar with it. They differ, in different browsers, but basically they are helpful. Some allow you to set your browser to automatically add names of people that you e-mail to. That can also be a helpful step. Check your HELP file on your browser for information on this topic.

Oh, one more very good thought suggested by a list member, it is a good idea to put your own e-mail address after your name in your postings. That way, we can all find each other back channel when we want to do so.

Setting Your Mail Options:

By default, your mail is set when you sign on to the list to deliver you the full posts of each item.  However there are three other settings that you may wish to consider.

1. If you set your mail to NOMAIL, you will receive nothing from the list.  However your mail will again flow normally if you later decide to follow an issue or topic, and set your mail to MAIL again. This is particularly useful for things like vacations, whey you will be away from your computer for awhile and don't want an overflowing mail box when you return.  If you chose this option, simply sent a note to LISTSERV@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU . In the body of the message type only the following line:

                                      SET PSY-FL NOMAIL

That's it. List will obligingly turn off your mail, keeping you as a valid subscriber for such time that you might want again to use the list.   To restart your mail delivery, send to the same address the command SET PSY-FL MAIL. 

2. You may have one e-mail per day from the list which describes each posting by topic and contributor by selecting the INDEX  form of mail rather than full posts. This enables you to monitor what is being discussed, and gives you the option of having the server send you any particular posts that you might want to read. To select this option, sent a note to the server at:  LISTSERV@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU with the only message being:  SET PSY-FL DIGEST.  Do NOT put anything else in the body of the message, no signature, etc.  Listy knows who you are.

3.  You may have one combined mailing per day for all posts for that day, by selecting DIGEST.  This cuts down on the clutter of e-mail on your server, yet gives you a running document of the posts on the list for that day.  To select this option, send a command to LISTSERV@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU with the only message being SET PSY-FL DIGEST.

Cut (or copy) and Paste:

When you want to send information to the list, or to anyone for that matter, that you get in your incoming E-mail, please do not send it with all those little "greater than" signs, like > in front of every line. Such signs indicate sections identified as quoted material but you don't want your whole posting marked that way... poor style.

So, what to do. Well you could hit REPLY, delete the headers and footers, and delete each one of those little >signs from each line. What a pain. A better way is to highlight the section of the original post by clicking your mouse at the spot you want to begin highlighting, and dragging your cursor, WHILE HOLDING the mouse button down, to the end of the section you want to highlight. Then got to EDIT, click on COPY and then click on NEW MAIL. On the blank sheet of new mail, click your mouse on the spot you wish your new message to begin, then go to EDIT, and press PASTE. Poof! The section you highlighted appears just like it did in the original.

Practice using Cut and Paste in your word processor. In doing a document, you can use this to delete a line where you do not want it, and paste it at another point where you do want it. Do you see the difference between Cut and Copy? Cut takes the line out of the original document and puts it in your edit file. Copy, leaves it in the original but also puts it in the Edit file. Different situations call for the different functions.

Go forth and practice. Cut/Copy/Paste.....

Sending "COMMAND"s to Listy, the listserv robot:

You can send a command to Listy to turn your list mail off at times such as vacations or when you don't want your mail to overflow for some reason. Fortunately turning your mail on and off is simple. Simply follow the outline below, and resist the urge to improvise. Listy is intolerant. (Please note there is no period after ST in STJOHNS in the address).


2. In the Subject line, good practice says to use the subject COMMAND (although not required)

3. To turn on your mail on for the Florida list (Psy-FL), simply type as the body of your message,


....and nothing else!

4. DO NOT sign your name, or add other "information". Listy will not understand.

To change your e-mail address, simply send the following command to, from your OLD address only:

change Psy-Fl

(of course substitute your real old and new addresses in the line above.... Duh. )

That's it. Remember, this MUST be sent from your old address, not your new address. You will receive notification at both addresses.

That is pretty much all there is to it folks,..... robots are not very demanding. There are other commands that I have not addressed so far. SCAN, for example, can be used to find a list member. To find HORD on the list, the command would be SCAN PSY-FL HORD and Listy would find my name and e-mail address and return that to you. Or you could check your own subscription options for the list by sending the command, QUERY PSY-FL. To obtain a list of commands, simply send the command HELP. Listy responds accordingly. To check to be sure that Listy is listening to you, and recognizes you, send the command THANKS. Listy, polite robot that she is, will reply, "You're welcome".


You will note that in the examples above, I have used lower case and capitals in the same commands... no problem. Listy doesn't mind which case you use in command lines.

Using the Psy-FL system ARCHIVES:

USE THE ARCHIVES! They are an invaluable source of data collected over the last several years. Each separate lists in the system has its own archive, including the state lists. Data is searchable by author, topic or words used. It really is a fantastic system, and was carefully crafted by the lists founder, John Roraback, to be the core professional element of the list system.

The archives for our list are found at "" .

The first time you access the archive, you will be asked to enter your name and assigned password to verify that you are an approved member of the list system. If your computer is set to save "cookies", you will not be asked for this information again. If not, you will have to enter this information each time to ensure that only authorized members have access to the data base.

Try the archives. Test the data base and discover what it can do for you, before you need it. If you encounter difficulties, let me know.

Using Topic Headers:

You may choose to not receive certain categories of mail from the Psy-FL Channel; that is, you may

deselect certain pre-defined TOPIC-labeled postings. This option is available to those subscribers who receive Psy-FL

mail in the piece-by-piece version ("MAIL" option), but not to those who receive INDEX or DIGEST versions.

You may also elect to receive only certain categories of TOPIC-labeled postings, thereby deselecting all others, including

unlabeled posts.

TOPIC labeled mail contains a Subject line preface such as:


"Chat:>" (For casual chit-chat around the virtual water cooler)

"News:>" (News items of interest, related to psychology or psychological practice)

"Job:>" (position postings, including post-doctoral fellowships)

"URL:>" (Internet addresses for Web sites and mail forums)

"4Sale:>" (items or services members are offering for sale)

"Tip:>" (For therapy suggestions, or tips for improving the office functioning, etc.)

"Adm:>" (Used only by the list administrator, or "owner" to inform members of list functions or related material)


This feature of the Psy-FL mail forum allows those not interested in, say, "Chat:>" postings to block delivery of items

labeled with that TOPIC, or say, academics who have no interest in business-related issues of practice to deselect "Tip:>"

labeled postings.

Remember to ALWAYS include a colon after the TOPIC prefix word - this is absolutely necessary to make the word work as a TOPIC. The ">" symbol, while not obligatory, is included to make the TOPIC visually distinct in the Subject line.

To deselect a TOPIC, address a command message to the LISTSERV Robot at the address: with a command in the form: SET Psy-FL TOPICS= -[topicname]

To re-add a TOPIC to your mail delivery, send the command: SET Psy-FL TOPICS= +[topicname]

You may include multiple commands within one e-mail message, placing each on a separate line. The symbols preceding

the {topicname] are minus and plus.

Good Netiquette:

John Roraback, the originator of the Psy USA list system (where Psy-FL got its start), used to chide me frequently by sending me a note, pointing out that as a "frequent poster" to the list I was an "example" to others. As such, I should use good style and net practices. He did this when I would forward an item from my mail to the list, leaving all those little ">" signs in the message, or when I (Gawd forbid) would leave the previous headers or footers in a forwarded message. His point was that I should "clean it up" as a message before I wasted other people's time and disk space. "Good Netiquette", he would call it.

Well, he was right as usual. Now I get frustrated with sloppy mail that is forwarded umpteen times before it gets forwarded to me, each time picking up additional trash in headers, footers and those darn "greater than" signs before each line. Now I take the time to "cut and paste" the message I want to send on, and I edit out all those ">" signs before I send it..... Now I look much more "professional" on the net, and I am rather intolerant of all those "amateur" postings I see.

Oh yeah, when you "forward" something (particularly from AOL) with an attachment, the attachment itself may have to be "opened" two or three times (read levels) before it is available. Many times the receiver doesn't know this, tries once and figures that your attachment isn't there. There reason that this happens is complex ( read IDK why this happens) but it happens. So, don't just forward something with and attachment. Create a new post, and "attach" the attachment. Much cleaner process for the receiver.

Abbreviations on the Web: EMOTIONS:

Frequently, you will want to emphasise a comment with an emotion. All caps, for example, is seen as SHOUTING, which is rude if you do so too much or too often. The following combinations of figures represent other expressed emotions that are fun, and sometimes useful, to use....

Smiley :-)

No-nose Smiley :)

Bug-Eyed Smiley 8^]

Crying Smiley :'-(

Grimacing Smiley >:-(

Neat Smiley in Profile {:^)

Punk Rock Smiley =:)

Scowling Smiley :-/

Shocked Smiley :-O

Smiley in Profile :^)

Snubbed-Nose Smiley :+(

Tongue Out Smiley :-P

Unhappy Smiley :-(

Very Neat Smiley {:-D

Very Smiley :-D

Very Unhappy Smiley (:^(

Winking Smiley ;-)

Wry Winking Smiley ;-

Short hand for common expressions:

Historical note: Many of these expressions originated in the Dark Ages of computing, and were used for efficiency when typing messages from terminal to terminal in real-time chat mode (predating IRC and chatting on the World Wide Web, of course). Note that many people new to the Internet (particularly those to whom English is a second or later language) will not always understand these abbreviations, so it's always wise to judge your audience carefully before using them. <bg> Big grin

<g> or <G> Grin

BCNU Be Seeing You

BTW By the way

DLG Devilish Little Grin

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

FOTCL Falling Off The Chair Laughing

FWIW For What It's Worth

FYA For Your Amusement

FYI For Your Information

IMHO In My Humble Opinion

IMNSHO In My Not So Humble Opinion

IMO In My Opinion

KISS Keep It Simple Stupid

LOL Laughing Out Loud

OTF On the floor. Short form of ROTFL.

OTOH On The Other Hand

PD Public Domain

ROTFL Rolling On The Floor Laughing

RTFM Read The Fine Manual. Used when a stupid question is asked.

TIA Thank In Advance

TNX Thanks

TNX 1.0E6 Thanks a million (humorous)


Aw, shucks.  Are you really thinking of leaving us?  We don't want to lose you and we hate it when one of our members decides to leave for some reason.  We would much rather see you set your mail option to NOMAIL as described under Mail Options above.  That way you can always rejoin us a later time.  However if you simply MUST leave, send the command, UNSUBSCRIBE to listy's address which is, of course, LISTSERV@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU.  We will miss you.  Bye.


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