I have no insight or wisdom for you today. But I have something better: statistics!
I've examined the content of all posts to The Listserve since April 2012 - thanks to Simon Weber for the archive! I'm not sure whether this is the beginning - if anyone knows how old The Listserve is, or who is behind it, I'd love to know. Anyway, I spent a couple hours hacking on the dataset with Python, so let me hit you with some SCIENCE FACTS:
First, the average Listserve post has 384 words, and the median has 356. The longest of all time was a 1,950 word rant called "Volatile Software" in April, 2012. The shortest of all time was a 2 word post in August 2013, which simply said "Be kind."
Here's a list of the top 10 words appearing in the Listserve, and the number of times they've appeared:
Well, that's not very interesting. Let's filter it to words that are 4 letters or longer and I'll pick out the top nouns:
Next I tried to parse the top locations out of the end of the email. There will be a lot that were missed due to formatting (emails that put the location somewhere besides the end, or just formatted the location differently). Here are the top 30 by city:
New York: 24
San Francisco: 20
Los Angeles: 11
New Jersey: 4
New York City: 4
New Orleans: 3
United Kingdom: 3
Thanks to everyone who has written to the Listserve - I love reading your stories and [The Listserve] emails are the only ones I look forward to checking every day. Now, here's a random selection of words which have been used only once on The Listserve:
If you'd like to see more of the results or the code I used, you can find it on my GitHub profile, if you search for my name.
And now I will end with the most common 5-word phrases, which apply to this email as well:
I would love to hear: 18
I'd love to hear from: 13
love to hear from you: 11
I have a lot of: 7
I'd love to hear about: 7
would love to hear from: 7
best water skier in Luxembourg: 3