Unfortunately, a few of us cannot modify their email client settings to
send plain text messages. This is especially true for those
environments exclusively using webmail clients (e.g. Outlook Web
Access). Here the option to send plain text messages can only be set
globally for every user.
I was able to find a workaround, but realize not everyone can do that.
Perhaps, something can be added to the Statalist FAQ on this topic.
Although the official email environment at a site may not be amenable
to customization (I have particular sympathy for those afflicted with
Lotus Notes email), one always has the choice of using an account at
hotmail, yahoo, gmail, or .mac -- most of which are free. Many of
these mail programs can also auto-forward mail to your "official"
account, and they are customizable in terms of non-HTML, non-Vcard,
non-all-that-other-crud-favored-by-Outlook (I don't know about MSN
It would be somewhat of a pain to remember to use your 'other' email
client to post to Statalist, but the alternative is unappealing. If
you have ever read the Statalist-Digest (as I do), or looked through
the archives and come across a message filled with thousands of bytes
of such crud, you will understand that others' willingness to help
answer your questions is correlated with your ability to avoid make a
mess of their mailbox (or the archives). The sign of the correlation
is left as an exercise.