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At the end of most articles is a small blurb called a person's signature. In Unix this file is named `.signature' in the person's login directory--it will vary for other operating systems. It exists to provide information about how to get in touch with the person posting the article, including their email address, phone number, address, or where they're located. Even so, signatures have become the graffiti of computers. People put song lyrics, pictures, philosophical quotes, even advertisements in their ".sigs". (Note, however, that advertising in your signature will more often than not get you flamed until you take it out.) invisible.xbm

Four lines will suffice--more is just extra garbage for Usenet sites to carry along with your article, which is supposed to be the intended focus of the reader. Netiquette dictates limiting oneself to this "quota" of four--some people make signatures that are ten lines or even more, including elaborate ASCII drawings of their hand-written signature or faces or even the space shuttle. This is not cute, and will bother people to no end.

Similarly, it's not necessary to include your signature--if you forget to append it to an article, don't worry about it. The article's just as good as it ever would be, and contains everything you should want to say. Don't re-post the article just to include the signature.

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