[FAQ][nettiquette] The Joys of Editing

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Emily Sachs

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May 24, 2001, 3:32:43 PM5/24/01
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A pet peeve of mine is when people don't edit posts that they're responding
to. I've talked to a few separate people on ICQ or in email about it, but a
lot of people seem to be doing it.


Common things I've seen people do:

Leave too many previous posts quoted in replies -- often happens in large
threads (the JNCOBOY thread, for example). Looks like this:

a said:
>
> b said:
> >
> > c said:
> > >
> > > d said:
> > > >
> > > > e said:
> > > > >
> > > > > Blah.
> > > >
> > > > Blah blah.
> > >
> > > Blah blah, bleh.
> >
> > Meh, blah bleh.
>
> And so on. ;)

Not only can this get annoying and hard to read, it wastes bandwith by
slapping up stuff that's not necessarily relevant...which brings me to my
next point. ;)

Often people will quote hundreds (slight exaggeration, for the most part)
of lines of text for a 3 line reply. For example:

x said:
>
> For the sake of this example post, you're going to have to pretend that this
> is a really long paragraph, serving whatever purpose you please, followed by
> a few lines of relevant topic.
> ....
>
> This is the relevant topic to reply to.

I'm replying to the relevant topic.
I think ___ of this relevant topic.
Etc.

Or in the form of story like posts, or just little essay-type posts:

y said:
>
> Insert uncut 100+ line story/post here.

Me too!/I agree!/Great story!/etc.

Also, putting a short paragraph on top of a huge (unedited) message, in a
similar fashion as the above examples.

As Ping has pointed out, many people will put the quotes after the entire
response -- including a mile long sig between the response and the quoted
materials (imagine Das responding to someone with his old style sig
<http://groups.google.com/groups?q=group:alt.games.creatures+author:das&s
tart=40&num=20&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&scoring=r&rnum=52&ic=1&selm=36bcfe9c.26
313057%40news.mindspring.com>, completely unedited).

Conversely, some people will put the response after the entire
quoting...including a quoted mile long sig. Imagine having to scroll down
past a sig such as Das' to read the response? Quoted sigs (especially long
ones) should be snipped -- not totally, leave enough to identify the poster
you're replying to.

On a more stylistic note, it's preferable to space your response throughout
the post to lumping it all together in a paragraph at the beginning or end
of the post. This helps to let people know what you're responding to in
the previous post.

Under-editing is a Bad Thing(TM), but over-editing can be, as well.
Leaveenough of a post to get the gist of the post you're replying to. If
you feel the need to snip it all, leave a short summary of what the post
was about, like:

X wrote:
>
> <snip long paragraph on the mating practices of sasquatches in the wild,
> or whatever this post was about>

Response to sasquatches.

For successful editing, cut everything that doesn't need to be there. Put
enough of the previous post in so that newcomers to the thread can
understand what's going on, but not so much that they can see the *entire*
thread in one post. If you're replying to only a few points in a really
long post, edit some non-relevant material out of the post you're replying
to. It saves bandwith, and keeps my smiting wand away :)

[Last edited May 24, 2001, reposted as long as there is need for it]

--
Just a thought from: Emily Sachs | "When you come to the edge of all
-> emy-beth (at) mediaone.net | that you know, you must believe
-> eesachs (at) eiu.edu | one of two things; there will be
-> "Dust in the wind, all we are | earth upon which to stand, or you
-> is dust in the wind." | will be given wings to fly."
-----------------------------------------------------
"I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment's gone
All my dreams, pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind
Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do, crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind"
~~Kerry Livgren (Kansas)
"Dust In The Wind"

Alex Watson

unread,
May 24, 2001, 3:04:19 PM5/24/01
to
Emily Sachs selected the three most edible things out of the fridge and sat
down to eat, while telling alt.games.creatures this:

> As Ping has pointed out, many people will put the quotes after the entire
> response -- including a mile long sig between the response and the quoted
> materials (imagine Das responding to someone with his old style sig
> <http://groups.google.com/groups?q=group:alt.games.creatures+author:das&s
> tart=40&num=20&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&scoring=r&rnum=52&ic=1&selm=36bcfe9c.26
> 313057%40news.mindspring.com>, completely unedited).

This URL can be snipped to <http://groups.google.com/groups?ic=1&selm=
36bcfe9c.26313057%40news.mindspring.com> BTW.

--
Alex Watson
Alex's Creatures - http://www.watson1999-69.freeserve.co.uk/
My H2G2 page - http://www.h2g2.com/U103477
My froupie page - http://www.watson1999-69.freeserve.co.uk/froup/
Reply to me[AT]watson1999-69.freeserve.co.uk, not deadspam.
(Temporarily?) Chief Evil Scientist of Naven Experimentation, current
developer of the Naven Genome Project, which has deciphered the entire
naven genome!
Proud owner of several (albeit complimentary) AGCish points.

This is my Be Nice To The Newbies Week. I'm trying to be nice to everyone,
dammit!

Sections completed by emmel or myself: Palace of the Evil Shee, Suzi's
Study, Naven Labs, The Invisible Room, The Mouse House, Insane Acronym
Laboratory, xOtix's Room, Mandy's Room, SnornL's Room, Midgard, Angeline's
Room, Graham's Room, Green Castle.

"It appears to be a mild astringent, and should not be taken internally.
Furthermore, if accidently read, consult a physician immediately."
- Balyn, of the JNCOBOY thread.

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