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So if someone posts a message, and someone responds to it, we call that a 'reply'.

However, I am struggling to think of a good phrase for the situation where you have the reply, and you want to see what it is a reply to? What would we call the entity that it is a reply to? "See message" doesn't seem to semantically capture it.

e.g. something like "antecedent", but that seems overly wordy.

Any suggestions?

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poser perhaps? –  JoseK Mar 28 '11 at 12:48
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1 Answer

It's usually called the parent message, using an analogy between a discussion thread and genealogic tree. At least in technical or scientific circles, this is well understood.

You can also call it your original message, your initial message, your query or your request (if appropriate).

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I'm partial to "original message" and "query" –  snumpy Mar 28 '11 at 13:18
I agree that in "techie" contexts, parent message is the preferred term. But for everyday use, original message is good where more specific words like query or request aren't suitable for some reason. And of course, in forums such as this we often use OP for Original Post or Original Poster. –  FumbleFingers Mar 28 '11 at 15:20
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