1hbh - what is the TOP of your strike zone

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by JennyT93, Dec 3, 2013.

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1hbh - top of your strike zone

  1. waist level - typical weekend hack who can't handle anything higher

    6 vote(s)
    22.2%
  2. chest level - somewhat useful 1hbh, perhaps with a more extreme grip

    8 vote(s)
    29.6%
  3. shoulder level - that is a real 1hbh... please explain how you hit it.

    5 vote(s)
    18.5%
  4. eye level or above - pros do that. TTW posters - no way.

    8 vote(s)
    29.6%
  1. JennyT93

    JennyT93 Banned

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    The title says it all.

    a poll is included.

    If you vote - it would be more credible if a video or photo is included.

    The pros probably have it at the eye level.
     
    #1
  2. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Define the question a little more. What do you mean by strike zone? Do you mean the location where it is easiest to hit the ball?

    Most pros prefer to have a strike zone below shoulder level. That would even include Gasquet, as I've seen him hit a jumping 1hbh put-away on a high ball in order to drop the strike zone. Gasquet will tend to spin it if it gets too high.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
    #2
  3. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    If it's higher than shoulder level, I slice it. Or I don't take the second hand off--can get some sick angles that way.
     
    #3
  4. JennyT93

    JennyT93 Banned

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    strike zone = you can rip the ball.
     
    #4
  5. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I love taking a kickserve at around eye level and returning it with interest and angle! :)
     
    #5
  6. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Between waist and knee. And yes, if it gets too high, there's always the slice or my personal favorite: the jumping 1handed backhand. :)

    Here's a video of a drill I was doing. I asked my buddy to pin me to the ad court corner as much as possible, and I would just defend while he tries to end the point after a few strokes:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMdAFuC5bNY&feature=youtu.be
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
    #6
  7. JennyT93

    JennyT93 Banned

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    option 4? no way.
     
    #7
  8. JennyT93

    JennyT93 Banned

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    that's option 1 - hack.
     
    #8
  9. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    ooops, sorry...didn't notice this was one hander....lower chest for that:neutral:
     
    #9
  10. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Oh the VERY top of my strike zone? Eye level = jumping 1handed backhand.
     
    #10
  11. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Give a good player a ball that sits up at eye level, and he'll hit it pretty well, one hander or not. Give that same player a ball that kicks up to eye level and penetrates the court, and he'll struggle much more. The point is that there's a lot of factors that go into whether a player can rip a ball, not just the bounce height.
     
    #11
  12. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I wanted to vote #4 too but your option already excludes TTW posters. :)

    Voted #5: knee and ankle level. Slicing is 1 hbh, right?
     
    #12
  13. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    This, move your feet and position yourself so you can strike the ball within your strike zone.

    Eye-level stuff is really the last resort, and it's just a bad option.
     
    #13
  14. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    I took it to mean the highest place where you can comfortably hit a topspin backhand.

    I find that higher swingweight racquets make it easier to hit high one-handed topspin backhands.

    > Eye-level stuff is really the last resort, and it's just a bad option.

    Sometimes you get into a rally with the other player hitting high-forehand kickers to your backhand and you have to deal with it.
     
    #14
  15. winstonlim8

    winstonlim8 Semi-Pro

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    High flat slice backhand - less than two feet above my head on my left.

    Regular flat slice backhand - waist height

    Topspin backhand -waist height

    I never try to play high topspin backhands, I don't have the strength.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
    #15
  16. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    How long until some idiot comes into this thread and tell everyone how inferior the one handed backhand is compared to the two handed backhand?
     
    #16
  17. Sir Shankalot

    Sir Shankalot Rookie

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    He doesn't look like a hack on his video. Nice BH, wish I had one like that!
     
    #17
  18. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Thank you. All it takes is a lot of practice and confidence. And a little bit of acceptance, that is: the one handed backhand is like a bullseye for people, and I've accepted that people are going to tee-off of on my backhand, so I just keep practicing and hold my ground.
     
    #18
  19. LiquidWhip

    LiquidWhip Rookie

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    Amen to that!
     
    #19
  20. Sir Shankalot

    Sir Shankalot Rookie

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    Yes, that's what I'm trying to do at the moment. I'm a lefty so having a solid and consistent BH is especially important to me.

    I like the way you mix up slice and TS. This is one combo I am trying to work on at the moment: opponent hits righty FH CC to my deuce court-> I hit loopy lefty TS BH CC and deep -> opponent hits another FH CC -> I hit a deep low BH Slice CC -> opponent loses rhythm and gives me a midcourt ball -> I run around and hit an inside-in forehand to his BH.

    Seems to work more often than not.
     
    #20
  21. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    My slice is a work in progress. I get away with not having a good slice because I have a flexible wrist that lets me flick a lot of things back when I'm stretched out. But I'm getting burned when I'm in a corner because I put the ball back in play too quickly, and I'm still gathering myself in the corner, and my opponent just hits to the open court. So, I'm working to better my slices.
     
    #21
  22. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Yeah I used to not have confidence in my backhand and I would run around a lot of them to hit a forehand. Problem is, when you run around a backhand, you better hit a damn good forehand, or do something meaningful with it. Otherwise if you just dink it back having ran around your backhand, you've opened up the entire deuce court. In this case, I've put MYSELF in the corner.

    So I started to do drills, lots of practice, and will accept the fact that I'll have do defend and hold my ground with my backhand. If I'm going to run around and hit a forehand, it better be a winner or a shot that stuns the opponent. Otherwise, I'm in trouble because I just gave away the court.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
    #22
  23. LiquidWhip

    LiquidWhip Rookie

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    On the subject though, I would say the top of my strike zone is chest height though I wouldn't say I could really rip the ball at that height. To really rip the ball I much prefer to be making contact between lower chest and knee height.

    I'm not convinced by the suggestion that pros can really rip the ball with a single bh from eye level or above and I doubt many of them would want to. Most of them will be looking to hit between knee and lower chest height to get maximum court penetration. Once it gets to eye level, it's very difficult to rip the ball without resorting to jumping and even then it usually not quite as effective.

    Case in point would be Federer. Federer has a fantastic OHBH but the reason it falls apart against Nadal as we all know is that because Nadal is constantly sending heavy topspin balls to that wing, meaning the ball is often bouncing above his prefered strike zone. As a result Federer often employs the slice or has to hit a slightly off balance jumping backhand which lacks the same penetration as his BH when he's planted on the floor striking it in his comfort zone. I would say you hardly ever see Federer truly rip the ball when it reaches head height or above.

    The alternative is of course to take it early and stand your ground. Wawrinka is probably the best example of this (Federer does this to some extent as well) and you'll frequently see him taking the ball early to prevent his opponent from dictating on his BH side.
     
    #23
  24. LiquidWhip

    LiquidWhip Rookie

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    Sounds like a very familiar story. I used to have either a tendency to almost exclusively slice the ball back on my BH side or run around on to my FH. In doing the latter I would end up giving away too much court position.

    However, recent drills have helped with my confidence on the stroke and I'm much more happy to trade/attack on that side now. Stepping into the ball and taking it early has really helped me not get pushed back too far in the court, and adding more topspin where necessary to create a bigger marging of error has also been extremely useful in cutting down UE. I also play with a guy who uses a ton of high-kicking topspin which means I have had to force myself take the ball early on the BH side otherwise I end up on the defensive almost straightaway once he starts going to town on that wing.
     
    #24
  25. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    ^^ I have a slight disagreement with the high stuff.

    Simply because at the pro level, those kind of high topspin is much more prevalent than what me and you would face at the rec level. And so naturally, they would have more practice against it and perceive it as a "norm" to certain degree.

    I still think it's difficult even for the pros as evident by Federer vs. Nadal, but I also think they have an easier time dealing with eye-level stuff just because they're pros, so they're just just better. And also, they see more of it at the pro level.
     
    #25
  26. LiquidWhip

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    I agree it might be more common at Pro level than ours but in my view there's a difference between dealing with a OHBH at eye level and being able to rip and play an offensive shot at that height.

    I guess the point I was trying to make was that whilst they can hit well at that height (and most likely relatively comfortably), I would guess that they would much prefer to be taking it at lower height to be able to really attack the shot.
     
    #26
  27. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Yeah, I was just saying because they have to deal with it more often, might not be such a big deal compare to how me and you might perceive those high balls.

    But you are right, and as I said earlier: If you move your feet, you can get the ball to your preferred strike-zone. Eye-level stuff is really last resort.
     
    #27
  28. LiquidWhip

    LiquidWhip Rookie

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    Very true - just wish I had that luxury all the time on the BH wing :)
     
    #28
  29. JennyT93

    JennyT93 Banned

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    eye-level is not last resort.

    taking ball on the rise is easier said then done, a heavy spun ball bounces up and goes through a waist high strike zone so fast (sweet spot even faster), that a clean hit becomes difficult.

    the apex of the bounce is where the ball travels the slowest vertically, allowing clean hits.

    what is the one factor that prevents players from hitting high 1hbh well?

    Hint - it's not 'strength'. Anybody can backhand a ball 50 yards, no matter how high it is.

    Power is NEVER the problem?

    The question is - WHAT is?
     
    #29
  30. winstonlim8

    winstonlim8 Semi-Pro

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    You're refering to a high topspin backhand?

    Harder to rotate the waist and shoulders from a "closed" to a more chest facing forward position, I suspect.

    Think about it - when you cream a high forehand, your shoulders and waist rotate from a neutral or open stance until on your followthrough, your upper body if not your whole body is facing the court. Much harder to do that on the backhand side because a 1HBH is usually hit with a closed stance with both feet planted.

    On top of that, when hitting high forehands, you also have the large chest muscles helping to bring the racquet round. On the 1HBH you don't have that luxury - your largest shoulder and back muscles are not designed to contract (i.e. exert "pull") in that direction. Same thing for the arm and wrist muscles, too, I suspect.

    An easy way to understand this is to try pushing in the forehand and backhand directions with your arm fully or nearly fully extended. You'll find that you can exert more strength in the forehand (to the front) direction. And if you do it hard enough, you'll feel exactly which muscles are involved because they'll ache. Of course, if you're a 5.5 with a 150 mph serve and a 90 mph backhand like so many members here, then you won't need to worry about any of this at all...

    I could just be wrong, of course, since I'm not a doctor, but that's my limited understanding. Perhaps someone with more knowledge could help out?

    That's why I prefer to hit a flat slice semi-backhand smash on a high backhand. It just feels easier - probably because my upper back and shoulder muscles towards my back are contracting in the direction for which they were designed, i.e. like a karate chop.

    Sorry I don't know the names of the muscles involved.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
    #30
  31. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    > Simply because at the pro level, those kind of high topspin
    > is much more prevalent than what me and you would face
    > at the rec level. And so naturally, they would have more
    > practice against it and perceive it as a "norm" to certain
    > degree.

    The better players that I play against pound the backhand, some with flatter strokes and some with topspin strokes. You have to be able to defend this if you use a OHBH or you're going to lose a lot of points on that side.

    I find that there are two ways to handle them - either take it early - basically brush the racquet up against the ball looking for a high spinner back to either the middle of the court or ideally to their backhand corner with moderate to heavy pace (depending on position, preparation and time). The other person will generally get to the ball - I find putaway attempts on this kind of a shot to be low-percentage.

    On high backhands where I move back, the usual idea is to try to hit a lot of topspin to the middle of the court or to the backhand. Of course hitting it to the middle means that I'm going to get another one on the next shot. Putting it to his backhand corner usually neutralizes the initiative. Players seldom come in on this kind of a shot - if I see a pattern of coming in, then I try to hit the backhand down-the-line, with or without pace. Someone coming in and then backpeddling to get a high shot near the forehand corner is going to wind up on the defensive. I do sometimes hit the ball to the forehand corner if I think that they're leaning too far over to the backhand side. They will generally get to the ball but they will usually be somewhat off balance.

    In general, I have a hard time executing this with lighter racquets.
     
    #31
  32. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    It's been my experience that opponents with a 1HBH almost universally slice the ball. I can't wait until I run into the guys that are more confident with the shot and hit the 1HBH with topspin!
     
    #32
  33. winstonlim8

    winstonlim8 Semi-Pro

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    True for me. I seldom play a high topspin or even a high flat-topspin backhand on anything that goes above my elbow level because I hate having to move back and give ground. I prefer to stand my ground and then play a rising ball (even a half-volley if it's a soft lob) with my flat-slice. When I can get there in time, the forward and down swing allows me to club the ball (like a karate chop).

    I actually got the idea from watching Clijsters and Sharapova hitting high forehands. Unfortunately, I have much less success with the same thing on my right for some odd reason, so I usually just play a sort of controlled volley stroke deep crosscourt or down the line on my forehand side to get the ball back in play with what seems to be a dipping trajectory.

    On my backhand side, I actually have much more control and pace because I can use the same 'club the ball' swing to hit dropshots or short crosscourt angles with the same swing. I don't know why.
     
    #33
  34. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    It looks like the NTRP 4.5 description is where one should have a good topspin backhand:

    "You have developed your use of power and spin and can handle pace. You have sound footwork, can control depth of shots, and attempt to vary game plan according to your opponents. You can hit first serves with power and accuracy and place the second serve. You tend to overhit on difficult shots. Aggressive net play is common in doubles."
     
    #34
  35. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    If I hit my 2HFH to my opponents 1HBH, I almost never get a topspin reply, however; I've faced multiple guys with a 2HBH who will reply with topspin. Even when I hit the 2HBH CC to the 1HBH, I almost always get a slice back. It just seems to me, at my level--in my area--that the 1HBH is all slice versus me.

    I had to work super hard to develop a reliable 2HBH with topspin, and lost tons of matches while doing it, but now that I have it, it is such a huge advantage in a rally. The difference in pace between the BH TS and the BH Slice cannot be overstated.
     
    #35
  36. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Options on high ball -
    For a short ball I just move in and hit it flat/slice downward, just club the ball as another poster said.
    For a deep ball, give ground and just rip it with a long looping swing with lots of topspin. It's like throwing the racket upwards and hitting at eye level is not difficult - think how Muster or Gasquet would swing on a high topspin forehand. These are both easy shots to hit. If I am near the baseline without a lot of time I can drive slice the ball which is easy or hit a drive going through the ball with a little topspin, but it is more difficult and more risky.
     
    #36
  37. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Why, b/c we miss a lot? :)

    I almost never slice my 1HBH (i.e. did only one last night DTL and it was a ...winner!??), mainly b/c I'm still practicing my topspin one. (i.e. I've realized that for the last few days, I wasn't taking my racket back enough,resulting in less power).
     
    #37
  38. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    On the contrary I love it when the pace of my 1HBH TS is higher then my opponents 2HBH TS (sometimes even then their FH).
     
    #38
  39. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    Haha. No! I just know that, that is the next level for BH exchanges.

    You probably play at the 4+ level, right?
     
    #39
  40. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    No idea, we are in Canada and only use rattings inter-clubs or at city level tourney etc.

    My regular partners are 4+ usually though (I'm mainly movement impeded, but I do work on the quality and pace of my shots a lot).
     
    #40
  41. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    > If I hit my 2HFH to my opponents 1HBH, I almost
    > never get a topspin reply, however; I've faced multiple
    > guys with a 2HBH who will reply with topspin. Even when
    > I hit the 2HBH CC to the 1HBH, I almost always get a
    > slice back. It just seems to me, at my level--in my
    > area--that the 1HBH is all slice versus me.

    If I hit consistently hit OHBH slice shots, people will just come to the net on me. They will pound the backhand, preferably with their forehand until they get a short ball which will give me little time to respond, likely with a weak sitter, and then put away the volley.

    If you have people that always slice their backhands, I recommend working on your volley and approach shot.
     
    #41
  42. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    > For a deep ball, give ground and just rip it with a long
    > looping swing with lots of topspin. It's like throwing the
    > racket upwards and hitting at eye level is not difficult -
    > think how Muster or Gasquet would swing on a high
    > topspin forehand. These are both easy shots to hit.

    Those are my thoughts too.

    But I guess that they're only easy if you know how to do it and have been doing it for a while. For those looking for 4.0 players with TS OHBHs: perhaps look for older players.
     
    #42
  43. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    How come you don't use the forum's quote function? So much easier, imho. Just a thought.

    Anyway, on to your response. I think you misunderstood me. Guys with 1HBH almost never bother me in match play, specifically because the IO FH just crumbles the 1HBH down into a super predictable central or CC slice. I usually don't even bother coming in. Once you get that inside position in the BH corner, as long as you can find the FH, it's been my experience that you should not lose the point. You will eventually get that central ball, rip it CC, and now they have to hit a FH OTR.

    *shrugs* I'm looking forward to playing the guys that are able to hit the 1HBH with topspin and are confident enough to change direction. That will really spice things up! The two-handers at my level already do this, but still rarely change direction on the BH side.
     
    #43
  44. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    > How come you don't use the forum's quote function? So
    > much easier, imho. Just a thought.

    I reply on a variety of email lists and forums and this is the classic quoting style going back to forums from the early 1980s (probably earlier than that but that's when I started with message forums).


    > *shrugs* I'm looking forward to playing the guys that
    > are able to hit the 1HBH with topspin and are confident
    > enough to change direction. That will really spice things
    > up! The two-handers at my level already do this, but still
    > rarely change direction on the BH side.

    Why don't you play 4.5s?
     
    #44
  45. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    I remember those days. Get with the times, brother. You're obsessed with some clown from the sixties! (kidding, kidding, and hopefully someone gets the reference.)

    Because I self-rated at 4.0 when I joined and win 60-ish% of my matches. I suppose maybe I'll get bumped eventually if my rating gets high enough. I've played with a couple higher level guys who suspected that I could play at 4.5, but I brushed them off as being overly generous.

    4.0 Quarterfinals match this Sunday!
     
    #45
  46. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    > I remember those days. Get with the times, brother.
    > You're obsessed with some clown from the sixties!
    > (kidding, kidding, and hopefully someone gets the
    > reference.)

    It's simply the lowest common denominator to use as I respond to a variety of forum types. And it makes it easier for Lynx users. I still use vi from time to time as well.

    > Because I self-rated at 4.0 when I joined and win
    > 60-ish% of my matches. I suppose maybe I'll get
    > bumped eventually if my rating gets high enough.
    > I've played with a couple higher level guys who
    > suspected that I could play at 4.5, but I brushed them
    > off as being overly generous.

    Playing better players is generally how you get better.
     
    #46
  47. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    Wow 11 posts the and OP is banned.

    How does that happen?
     
    #47
  48. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    I'm just curious now. Are you copy, pasting, inserting >'s and line breaks?
     
    #48
  49. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    If it's a short quote and replay, then I edit it in the box. If it's more than a paragraph or two, then I copy it into emacs, type a caret and hit escape-q and it does the whole paragraph. I then paste it back in.

    I spend a lot of time in character-cell consoles and emacs mainly working in Unix environments.
     
    #49
  50. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I haven't used vi in a while. May have to get back to Unix.
     
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