I'm fascinated by the fact that so many people on this list include their degrees in their signatures. In all of my years of list-wandering I've never seen such a thing before.

In all my dealings with academics over the internet, I've always found people "flashing their degree badges". As a matter of fact, I never thought anything of it until just now when I read these posts. In my opinion, it's not really a vie for credibility, as much as just saying who you are. "Hi my name is Doctor so and so", it's a proper title. I don't see anything wrong with it
You know, I started doing this when I first started out on the lists that have to do with psych. It seems to be protocol over there. . . rank ordering.
Use of the title is an acceptable part of the professional life that many of us lead, and is expected in a number of interactions. Lack of a title is not viewed by any of the professionals I know as signaling a less worthy opinion or comment. However, if I hold forth on matters which demand a level of expertise, you would we well advised to know if I possess that expertise
Gail - deleting her sig. file for this post
Why is detection of status important? I've been on lists that were just starting up, even professional lists (of various professions), and this degree-flinging is new to me. I find that it impersonalizes contact, which is the last thing I'm looking for in a mailing list.
Here is my professional sigfile. It tells the world that I am gainfully employed and what I do for a living. The star was the only graphic I could produce easily using a UNIX line editor, so it tells the world, that I am highly computer literate, even in a hostile and primitiv environment.
I know quite a few people locally who couldn't go through a single introduction without refering to themselves as "Doctor" this or "Doctor" that. That is their choice. I think that if you went through the work to get there, you retain bragging rights thereafter.
I have been a fan of sig. files for a long time. I pay attention to them and often amuse myself by completely analyzing and discecting a person based soley on his or her internet signature. I can't think of a better use for intellect.:-)
I am on a couple of groups where listing of academic degrees and affiliations is almost unversal. However, for many of those individuals making contacts with other academics is a matter of important professional concern. Getting to know the right people can put bread on the table, and listing those degrees may help. In a sense, they are trolling for business. Making a buck with a PHD can be difficult. I don't begrudge the effort.
people without signature files are so highly evovled that they can't be bothered with such things.

I guess it seems to me that the respondents to this most interesting thread can be divided between those who are at least moderately pleased with who/where/what they are and thus don't mind announcing it to the world and those who aren't.
I've found it a rather interesting discussion and have enjoyed seeing how other people feel about things like signature files. I've also learned something from it. Now if I see somebody signing "PhD" on e-mail and I know that that person is in psychology, I won't be as likely to wonder what kind of ego problem the person has. I'm serious about that. This time last week, I would have assumed that such a person had serious insecurities.
Imho, there's something seductive but fundmentally misleading in the notion that we're all just plain folks chatting around the campfire.
In graduate school, I once worked for a consultant who consistantly had his name on all the firm's materials as: "Dr. Pissant Schlmiel, Ph.D." (Name changed to protect me if he's still alive and somehow on the Net.) He *was* a pissant, and this over-usage was typical.
I have been meaning to change my sig file since our first discussion of the issue, and never got around to it. Now the whole thing is back and it's still the same. How does procrastination fit into this whole thing? Laziness is a powerful force . . . eh.
whether it's pottery, degrees or leather jackets. it is difficult to escape ones own vanity.
A long signature makes you look like a complete newbie; if we wanted to read your business card, we'll find it on your home page, thanks. Here's a hint: the longer one has been on the Net, the shorter one's sig tends to be. Many old-timers are able to keep it to one line.
It's probably OK to add a URL these days, which can probably share a line with your e-mail address. But really, I have no interest in looking at rows of asterisks, ASCII graphics, snail-mail addresses, voicemail numbers, political affiliations, names of children or pets, business slogans, etc. There's a place for all of those - the World Wide Web, on your home page.
I've been playing with the sig file off and on for a month or so. . . I wanted to see how it felt to diminish the sig file. I recognize that I may be compensating in my sig file for a perceived need to be respected. If this is so, I want to explore alternate behaviors to see if I can learn something about myself.
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