This standard specifies a syntax for text messages that are sent among computer users, within the framework of "electronic mail". The standard supersedes the one specified in ARPANET Request for Comments #733, "Standard for the Format of ARPA Network Text Messages".
Messages consist of lines of text. No special provisions are made for encoding drawings, facsimile, speech, or structured text. No significant consideration has been given to questions of data compression or to transmission and storage efficiency, and the standard tends to be free with the number of bits consumed. For example, field names are specified as free text, rather than special terse codes.