After the third time this week I’ve replied to a list when I meant to reply to a person

I want an email client that offers a ‘reply to list’ function in addition to ‘reply to author’ and ‘reply to all’.

Even more importantly, I want it to put my message compose window in bright red or something whenever I’m replying to a list by default ‘reply’, which it should be able to detect.

Oh, while we’re at it, let me pick own my default-reply on a per-list basis.

Is that too much to ask? From how often I see people making this mistake (sometimes embarressingly),  I’d guess this is one of the biggest email usability issues (right after spam prevention).

Email list servs don’t always use list-* headers that would make it easy for a client to do this but I can think of some heuristics that could succesfully identify list traffic much of the time. Like when the “To:” header matches the “Sender:” header, or when the “To:” header matches the “Reply-to:” header–most of the time that’ll be a mailing list, and most mailing list messages can probably be caught by rules like this.

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