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What They Are, How to Interpret Them
Multigrams are comparisons of e-mail addresses. Mailing list multigrams compare addresses of people you have manually subscribed or unsubscribed with the addresses of existing subscribers of the list, showing the best matches within the specified format (-L or -D). If the multigram appears in a header, it will show only the best match. Most multigrams will show the eight best matches.
When an administrator subscribes or unsubscribes an address, the mailing list program will generate a multigram. Multigrams are not generated if someone subscribes by e-mail.
Below is an example of a typical multigram. The bottom lines will not show addresses if you have less than eight subscribers, and you should ignore them.
The address in the second (right) column is the address you are subscribing or unsubscribing from the list; all the addresses in this column will be the same.
The addresses in the first (left) column are existing subscribers. In this example, the first address is a perfect match. If you are subscribing an address and see a perfect match, it means the address has already been subscribed in that format, and you just duplicated it. You should unsubscribe one of the addresses.
The numbers in the first column show the position of the matched e-mail address within the list of subscribers; email@example.com is the 1,347 person subscribed to the list. If you have less than eight subscribers, there may be zeros in this column, and no e-mail addresses will be shown. This column will often add little value and can be ignored.
The numbers in the second column are a measure of how close the match was. The listing is in order of best matches; the higher the number, the better the probability of a match; anything over 30,730 will be a perfect or near-perfect match. If you have eight or less subscribers, you may see negative numbers in this column. If you have less than eight subscribers, the bottom line(s) will not contain e-mail addresses.
If you unsubscribe an address, only the top address in the left column (the best match) will be unsubscribed from the list, and that will only happen if it is a very good match. If you see two identical addresses in the left column, it means the address was subscribed twice in the same format. To completely unsubscribe the address, you will need to unsubscribe the duplicate entry also. You will be sent a copy of the unsubscribe confirmation letter.
In some instances, you will see only the best match in the X-Diagnostic line of the message header. For example, if someone on the reject list tries to submit a message, the bounce you receive will include a single-line multigram.