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Thread: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

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    Scotland Avalon Member Daozen's Avatar
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    Default Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    Lots of brainboxes here engaging in high level discourse. That's a good thing. But I noticed something: Avalonians sure like to hear themselves type. Nothing wrong with that, but one downside of excessive wordiness is that a reader's eyes will glaze over. If you don't care, so much the better... but know you are probably losing half or even more of your readership once the paragraphs get too dense.

    There's an easy response to this:

    Daozen I don't write for other people, I write for me. If other people don't like it I don't mind. I'll just continue being me, thanks.

    Yup. OK. I am not suggesting that people write less, more that they format their posts better. I have 6 humble suggestions:

    - Post a 3 sentence tl;dr at the start or end.
    - Use bullet-points.
    - Use sub-headings.
    - Use formatting.
    - Break up any paragraph longer than 10 lines with a subheading or picture.
    - Make 1-3 major points per post, not 5-10.


    This has been brought up at least twice by other posters or moderators, but skimming the recent threads, I still see slabs of self-indulgent ascii mucus slathered everywhere. No one is asking anyone to dumb down or dilute their writing, just be aware that many people... including me, suffer from ADHD or just boredom when faced with leaning towers of HTML.

    Consider your mission, dear poster:

    - To heal the world with herbs.
    - To convince everyone that Politician X is the Messiah/Devil/Anti-Christ/Kalki Avatar.
    - To write about the danger or beauty of capitalism.
    - To help readers understand your take on the exo-political situation.


    Or whatever...

    Whatever you wish to do, it only takes 2 minutes to format a schpiel of word-vomit into a beautiful treatise. Twitter and Reddit became famous for a reason. The Chinese sages of old rarely wrote more than 4 lines per poem. Bible quotes are less than 2 lines, and they have endured for thousands of years.










    Some good suggestions from Krystian here:

    - If you start a thread and post a link or quote or in anyway reproduce someone else’s work, preface it with some words of your own. Tell us why we may want to read or examine this material instead of just assuming it is self evident. Expect that there will be comments and questions on the material and check back to see if there is a thread. Take responsibility for your post by getting involved in the discussion and expect that you are going to do so when you submit the post.

    - If you are going to submit a long post (great!) then you might want to write it first in a word processor or other program to make it easier to organize your thoughts. This would probably allow you to save them and write these posts over time.

    - Understand that not everyone here has English as their first language. If you do, hold your self to a higher standard. We are blessed to have people from lots of parts of the world whose culture, language and syntax, etc. give us some very different insights as to what is going on in the world.

    - Don’t just preach to the choir. Challenge people. And not just ordinary people, but challenge us Avalonians with your well thought out and well presented ideas. It is nice when people click the “thanks” button beneath my post, but it is a much higher complement when someone can add to my ideas or, the best compliment of all, challenge them in a way that makes me scratch my head and rethink what I wrote. So challenge people and expect them to politely challenge you back!

    - WRITE DAMN IT!!! You have a sea of thoughts passing through your mind 24/7 and there are some pearls in that sea. There are most definitely flashes of brilliance, wisdom and insight that pass though. Put them into words, and put those words into logical sentences and paragraphs, and finally, share them with us and with the world. Our thoughts are the key to our liberation and our enlightenment, and one of yours might just be the next key to unleashing a lot of greatness on this planet.
    Last edited by Daozen; 21st April 2018 at 00:03.
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    Avalon Member Flash's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    Doazen: and do not use too many acronyms that the majority may not understand, without explaining them

    ex:

    brainboxes: do you mean intelligent people (seems quite colloquial writing to me.... not English speaking, so I had never seen it written this way)

    TYVM: take your verb to you mother??? oh: très yin verbo moteur oh... you see, what does it mean???

    tl;dr : what is this??? I must presume those are computer commands, yet I would not know how to operate them. Or else???

    ascii mucus slathered : please explain, I thought ascii was something related to computers, and mucus well, is mucus even in French lolll. So what does it mean?

    ADHD or just DGAF when faced with leaning towers of HTML.: ADHD attention deficit disorder, DGAF? no f idea what this mean, leaning towers of HTML, HTML being related to computer writing, leaning towers relaated to????

    schpiel of word-vomit : word vomit I know what it means, vomit being also the a similar writing in French, but schpiel - must be German, what doe it mean?

    Now, if you think of others by formatting your writings and knowing your intent before writing and therefore make their reading easier, and consequently the exchanges much richer, is it also possible to think of others who are not computer savvy or are not English acronyms savvy.

    Is it possible to sit in others shoes for only a few minutes, even those outside the USA?

    Thinking of others goes all the way Daozen
    Last edited by Flash; 20th April 2018 at 02:31.
    How to let the desire of your mind become the desire of your heart - Gurdjieff

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    Scotland Avalon Member Daozen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    Hoist by my own petard. I have asked writers to be more courteous to readers by being mindful of their writing. And I used too many acronyms, exhibiting discourtesy myself. The irony is not lost on me. However, Flash, my choice of word stands. I was expecting some low-intensity-indignant responses to my post. So be it. Can I not stretch out and enjoy the English language?

    EDIT: I have retired DGAF, as I feel it is prejudicial to the spirit of Avalon. The rest stays carved in stone.

    Here 's a quick version:

    If you write too much, and don't format your post, you will lose half your readership.

    I hope that one liner makes things clear.

    Pleasnat chatting with you, as always.
    Last edited by Daozen; 20th April 2018 at 02:49.
    http://tinyurl.com/oke7jvm //// "the love that you withhold, is the the pain that you carry... (lifetime after lifetime)..." - Alex Collier.

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    United States Avalon Member RunningDeer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    Quote Posted by Daozen (here)
    Post a 3 sentence tl;dr at the start or end.
    I didn't know what the initials meant. Are you staying to let the poster know that it was too long so I didn't read?


    Quote Posted by Flash (here)
    Doazen: and do not use too many acronyms that the majority may not understand, without explaining them

    tl;dr :what is this??? I must presume those are computer commands, yet I would not know how to operate them. Or else???
    Thanks, Flash. I hadn't gotten to your post because I was busy Googling letters. Good points.
    Last edited by RunningDeer; 20th April 2018 at 02:59.

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    Scotland Avalon Member Daozen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    Quote Posted by RunningDeer (here)
    Quote Posted by Daozen (here)
    Post a 3 sentence tl;dr at the start or end.
    I didn't know what the initials meant. Are you staying to let the poster know that it was too long so I didn't read?

    No, it's from Reddit. The old meaning was the wall of type was too long. It has come to mean summary, recently. My mistake for not explaining it:

    It means a 3 sentence summary of your post/OP, so readers can decide if they want to read it or not.
    http://tinyurl.com/oke7jvm //// "the love that you withhold, is the the pain that you carry... (lifetime after lifetime)..." - Alex Collier.

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    Quote Posted by Flash (here)
    tl;dr : what is this???
    It stands for (in English! ): Too Long; Didn't Read.

    ***
    I'd also strongly add:
    • break up paragraphs to not be more than 5-6 lines on a full screen. 2-3 lines is better.

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    United States Avalon Member Indigris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    Meh...I mostly don't agree with this.

    There are several points to be made.

    Ironically, this is going to be a long post, but here goes.

    Firstly, not everyone is able to be articulate to the degree that they can be concise yet still maintain eloquence.

    For some, it's because English is not their native language (such as Flash). For others, it's because they never had a full-bodied, quality formal education, so their more limited vocabulary requires them to take more time to make a point.

    My boyfriend is like this, for example. He was raised in rural Texas, so his English vocabulary is pretty limited because public schools in Texas are garbage. He also isn't a native English speaker; his mother tongue is Portuguese, in which his vocabulary is far better. So, he speaks simply, plainly. His repertoire of words isn't very advanced by any stretch of the imagination.

    Early in the relationship, this drove me crazy. Half the words I would use, he didn't fully understand. Half the words he would use, he would use incorrectly. As someone who has a pretty decent handle on the English language, it was frustrating more than once. Yet he taught me such an important lesson: to listen, and to be patient.

    If you were to judge him based off of the sophistication of his vocabulary, you'd think him to be of totally average intelligence. Yet he is by no means someone you should dismiss. When you listen to him, and yes, it does require some patience, and often a fair amount of reading between the lines, he often has something truly intelligent to say. He just doesn't make it sound pretty. I'm sure a lot of people on Avalon on this way. And all too often, they may get written off because their wording isn't stellar.

    Then, of course, there's the matter that some people just have trouble with articulating their thoughts, and as such, tend to speak/write in a stream-of-consciousness sort of way.

    Is it fair to hold back these kinds of people, just because sometimes, a post is long? I don't think it is.

    Look, I understand I may be the last person that should be saying this. I'm sure some members have noticed that my posts are rarely leagues away from being short. It's always been a concern of mine that I would lose people with my long-a** posts, but at the end of the day, I continue to make posts like the ones I do because I feel that if I were to shorten them, I would be abridging them and thus have them be incomplete.

    I know I am very wordy, and I often ramble. It was never because I liked to hear myself type. I personally make long posts for several reasons:

    - To get all my points across (there are always many)
    - To cover all bases, counterpoints, arguments, etc.
    - To keep things efficient (by avoiding having to post several times in a thread)
    - To foster discussion

    Maybe it's just my pretty severe ADD that makes me ramble on and on and on. It's entirely possible. But to enforce rules to keep posts short will do more harm than good, in my opinion.

    While it is absolutely crucial to properly format long posts, I don't think we should avoid them. It contributes to the epidemic of short memory and short attention spans we as a society seem to be suffering from. I know this from first hand experience. I don't know if my ADD was innate or created by growing up in the Information Age, but it is very hard for me to read long articles or watch lengthy videos, unless I am keenly interested in it.

    By reducing all posts to bite-sized chunks, we would be doing a disservice to this forum, I think. I disagree with your assessment that brevity is best. Reddit and twitter and the like are short not because they aim to capture the poetic beauty of a handful of sentences, but to dumb people down by reducing their patience and attention spans tremendously. I myself have fallen victim to this; I find it exceedingly difficult to focus in everyday life, and zone out regularly, especially when reading or watching something longer than 15 minutes.

    Short answer type discussions are abundant online. Reddit is a perfect example. There's benefit in that, as you mentioned, but also harm. Let's keep Avalon its own thing.

    Of course, as with all things in life, there's a spectrum to this, and we need to maintain balance. I'm not saying there aren't people on here, perhaps myself on many occasions, that got a bit too long-winded.

    But I wouldn't say it's gotten to be a full-blown problem yet. We have bigger issues than that, as far as I'm concerned.

    I think formatting things the way you suggest would largely serve to dumb things down. Bullet points can easily veer into the pedestrian when used to formulate entire arguments at a time.

    The TL;DR thing isn't a bad idea though. I'll start incorporating them into my posts. I'm sure some would benefit from them, and even just one person is worth it. I don't think we should limit to 3 sentences. That seems completely arbitrary and inhibitive.

    Now, since some people seem to be having trouble with the terms Daozen used, here's a list of "translations":

    TYVM= Thank you very much

    Brainbox = Slang term used to describe a smart person. Can be used in a derogatory way. Brainboxes are a specific kind of smart person. Usually the nerdy, well-read, sometimes know-it-all types.

    TL;DR = Too Long ; Didn't Read. It's already been defined, but I'd like to add that it doesn't have any specific requirements or limitations, but instead is meant to be a summary/nutshell of a long post. Whether you're too lazy or too busy, TL:DRs are useful.

    ascii mucus slathered : I actually have no idea what this means.

    DGAF = Don't Give A F*ck. Also seen as IDGAF ( I don't give a f*ck).

    As for the leaning towers bit, Flash, picture a game of Jenga (this is Jenga: https://clearaction.com/wp-content/u..._160902620.jpg). When the tower gets too tall, it topples over.

    This is the sort of metaphor Daozen was going for.

    Lastly, for spiel (there's actually no ch), it is a German word used as slang in English, to describe a sort of speech or monologue, usually one that's either way too long or full of ego.

    Dictionary.com defines it as the following:

    "a usually high-flown talk or speech, especially for the purpose of luring people to a movie, a sale, etc.; pitch."

    Calling something a spiel is usually not a good thing.

    Oh, by the way, here's a resource I think some of you old, out-of-touch Avalonians might find useful

    https://www.urbandictionary.com/

    It's a user-based dictionary for slang of all kinds. If you don't know a word that can't be found in the dictionary, chances are someone out there put a definition of it here. Since it's collaborative, not every definition is 100% accurate, but for things you'd hear here, I'd say it's generally safe.

    A word of warning: this place is definitely NSFW (Not Safe For Work. Another internet slang term used to describe anything that would be rated R...that is to say, content like sex and violence. Usually it's sex/nudity though. For violence and gore, NSFL is used. NSFL= Not Safe For Life. Yeah, I don't think that term makes sense either).

    If you're the blushing flower, easily-offended type, I wouldn't come here. This website has absolutely no filter, and can be very raunchy and crass.

    For some of us, raunchy and crass isn't a problem, but for others, well, this place is guaranteed to ruffle your feathers at some point.

    Hit the 'random' button at your own risk. While it will often end in a chuckle, you can find out things that will be burned in your mind forever.

    But seriously, I wouldn't be too scared of this place. It's usually fine. Just don't hit the random button if you're the more sheltered type.


    Finally, I'd like to let Daozen know that this is by no means a personal attack: I have ADD/ADHD myself, so I understand fully how hard it is. I just fundamentally (and amicably!) disagree with you


    Aaaand I'm done!

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    Scotland Avalon Member Daozen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    Quote Posted by Indigris (here)
    Ironically, this is going to be a long post, but here goes.
    Beautiful! hall o fame material, right there.

    Thanks for putting your point across.
    http://tinyurl.com/oke7jvm //// "the love that you withhold, is the the pain that you carry... (lifetime after lifetime)..." - Alex Collier.

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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    Indigris, you write very "conversationally" - easy to read (even if it's a long-er post) - a Copywriter would love you!

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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    I would like to add one point which unnecessarily makes a post very long:
    To quote an entire (long) posting.

    Better would be to just quote the parts of a post one wants to elaborate on.

    One just goes back to the quoted text and deletes excessive text.
    "The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own."
    -- Benjamin Disraeli

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    Great Britain Avalon Member Baby Steps's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    Quote Posted by Daozen (here)
    Quote Posted by Indigris (here)
    Ironically, this is going to be a long post, but here goes.
    Beautiful! hall o fame material, right there.

    Thanks for putting your point across.
    But for the long posters- those wonderful wordsmiths- do not be discouraged. People may be dipping into what you write, and benefiting from it, but personally I would not put a 'thanks' unless I had done the courtesy of fully reading and understanding the post. A skimming reader wants to get the gist - so put the gist in clear headers, than the detail in chunks underneath.
    Last edited by Baby Steps; 20th April 2018 at 09:37.
    we have subcontracted the business of healing people to Companies who profit from sickness.

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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    When I see long posts with links and quotes, I have a tough time figuring out the difference between a quote, and a member’s original thoughts on the subject.

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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    I fall into the ADHD category and I LOVE words. Simplicity in explanation will always grab me. My eyes do start rolling in the back of my head when I see unnecessarily wordy posts. And I ain't no dummy.

    There's a reason Ernest Hemingway is considered one of the world's great writers.
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with somebody when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous"

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    Avalon Member Flash's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    To all

    First for Indigris, thank you very much for the definitions you gave me of all those acronyms and words I do not catch in the given context. You are the only one who took the time to do this, not even the creators of those did it.

    I had started to write this post on my cell and gave up, god forbid, many more typing errors on a phone and too many corrections to do. And from what I read here, one has to be perfect in Shakespeare languagae.

    To tell the whole truth, I am frankly tired of having to constantly look in the dictionary or having to google acronyms and colloquials and idiosyncrasies at times.

    But, I am mostly tired of what seems to me the lack of understanding, what am I saying, not even understanding, the lack of caring for anything (not anybody because at this point we must be looked upon as things) else than Anglo Saxons.

    Believe me, ADHD is nothing when writing or reading if you master the language. There are much worst handicaps - and those who have them are not idiots just because they could not write their thoughts properly.
    From what I gather here, this is what most members would think, dealing with idiots because they do not master English.

    I see no empathy, no efforts to understand, only demands that foreigners and dylsexics - dysphasics - other neurological disorder cannot comply with.

    Formatting is one thing, but even that, our younger ones have not learn to do it - we have to teach it. But I think most here would not have enough empathy and concern to tolerate any deviant.

    Believe me, it is much easier to write in one's mothertongue, and to restrict oneself to one mothertongue forums and readings, but this will not construct an open world, on the contrary.

    For God sake, I am university educated, I have taught different management and customer related courses to adults a large part of my life, and here, I feel like the reject because of language intolerance or lack of efforts thinking of others. The contrary to my own teachings.

    Yes it is a rant

    But if over and above the intelligent content one has to bring, I have to do it in a masterfull English way, you lose me.

    If I have to do a master degree by being on Avalon, It will be much more profitable to go do a real master degree. WRiting on avalon for non anglo-saxons, for handicaped people or for regular English speaking folks has to be fun, with a little thoughts for others. Otherwise, it is not worth it.

    Bill, you lived in Africa, now in South America, had Canadian parents and are British. How come this is not taken into account? Try to write in Spanish, and you will see. EAsy to understand that a break has to be given..

    Same for Americans, open your mental doors (and yes, Joe, you do write French, so I am not adressing you about these anymore).

    When I read all the post here I am p ss ed. It is enough to discourage many many non English writers and about all those with some language handicaps.

    And I am not f ing revising this post, get what you can.

    -----

    I should open a post with "Overly zealous avalonians", most may fit in it.
    Last edited by Flash; 20th April 2018 at 13:34.
    How to let the desire of your mind become the desire of your heart - Gurdjieff

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  29. Link to Post #15
    Avalon Member Flash's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    Quote Posted by Valerie Villars (here)
    I fall into the ADHD category and I LOVE words. Simplicity in explanation will always grab me. My eyes do start rolling in the back of my head when I see unnecessarily wordy posts. And I ain't no dummy.

    There's a reason Ernest Hemingway is considered one of the world's great writers.
    I don't give a fu ck about Hemingway, I never read him. I am not here to write like Hemingway anyhow, and if it is what you want all of yous, I will leave.
    How to let the desire of your mind become the desire of your heart - Gurdjieff

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    United States Avalon Member Foxie Loxie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    Wonderful, Flash!! It's the "spirit" of the thing that matters as we are trying to "connect" with other human beings. We all are able to learn from experiences that others have had. Let me just say; it took me a long time to learn what IMO & IMHO meant! I even had to ask what CGI meant....but maybe that's just because I'm of the Older Generation!

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    Great Britain Avalon Member Baby Steps's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    Quote Posted by Flash (here)

    I should open a post with "Overly zealous avalonians", most may fit in it.
    Dear Flash,
    really- you convey yourself very well - the posts are well written and NOT verbose- long may you continue. It is great that there are non English as a first language people here who take the time to contribute.
    Your passion and the emotion you convey so well are great! (apart from the bits about Russia)

    Do not stop...
    we have subcontracted the business of healing people to Companies who profit from sickness.

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  35. Link to Post #18
    France Administrator Hervé's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    Beside some sort of unhindered mastery of the language, there is a more basic, underlying mastery which needs to be somewhat achieved in order to reach a maximum number of readers with one's point -- not lose them -- and that's achieving some mastery of the medium we are all here using: computers.

    That, because if one wants to refine one's presentation and display of one's post, one needs to be able to give it a pleasant, aesthetic, appealing look instead of the leaning tower of Pisa full of texts and videos as visiting "tourists" (due to a non-activation of the "Word/Line Wrap" function of the text editor being used).

    Here is a generic example of the kind of conversation tech supports run into:
    I ran into some basic lacunae when, for example, explaining something like:
    "... simple, you just do it like you would do a copy-paste..."

    ...

    "... right... how do I do a copy-paste?"

    "Well, you highlight the text you want to transfer, right click on the highlighted part..."

    ...

    "... sure... ... ... how do I highlight a #&%$ text?!" ...

    ... ... ...
    So, for those finding themselves in the above situation, I would suggest to start with something like: Basic Computer Skills.

    Only then can one address "Formatting" and typography conventions per se...

    Regarding the chapter of quoted material, I would suggest the following:
    Avoid using the "Quotation" feature for whole articles because it italicises the whole text and, beside making originally italicised item disappear, it makes it more difficult to read for disturbed eyes as well as making the articles look like walls of hieroglyphics and, therefore, inevitably end up in the TL;DR waste basket.

    One way to distinguish the article from one's own thoughts or others' comments is to use separators like:

    --------------------------------------

    =============================

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    etc...

    As Bill keeps suggesting, take your time, read and reread what you type... does it make sense? Could some reader construe the text in any other way? Etc...

    Happy typing all...
    "La réalité est un rêve que l'on fait atterrir" San Antonio AKA F. Dard

    Troll-hood motto: Never, ever, however, whatsoever, to anyone, a point concede.

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    Quote Posted by Flash (here)
    Bill, you lived in Africa, now in South America, had Canadian parents and are British. How come this is not taken into account? Try to write in Spanish, and you will see. EAsy to understand that a break has to be given.
    Hey, Flash!

    No-one is criticizing you here. Not one tiny bit. Certainly not me. You write beautifully, and I love it. I wrote here, a month ago:

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Quote Posted by Star Mariner (here)
    I wish to express my deep admiration and appreciation of all those here who are not native English speakers.
    Yes, truly.

    In fact — and I do hope everyone understands this quip! — I REALLY REALLY enjoy reading Flash's posts. (For newer members: Flash lives in Montreal, and French is her first language.) They're thoughtful and beautifully crafted, and sometimes very slightly quirky. Her heart and meaning invariably shine through brightly.

    It's like listening to a lovely accent. If they suddenly became flawlessly perfect... I'd feel something was lost in translation.


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    Avalon Member
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    Default Re: Overly wordy, lazily formatted or wall o'type posts will dilute the radial power of a thread.

    Quote Posted by JoefromtheCarolinas (here)
    When I see long posts with links and quotes, I have a tough time figuring out the difference between a quote, and a member’s original thoughts on the subject.
    I want to second this the most. I basically ignore some peoples posts because of this exact thing. I found it too hard to tell when they are just copypasta or giving two cents.

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