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-   -   Lack Of Paragraph Breaks. (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17345)

SourGirl 11-19-2011 02:54 AM

Lack Of Paragraph Breaks.
I`m not exactly sure how to word this, but there seems to be a trend of someone posting for the first time, and someone else ignoring the question but scolding them on not having proper paragraphs.
Many people come here hurt, and looking for people to talk to. Many times they have no one in their own life to discuss such personal, poly matters with.

Scolding them on their writing, (in the first post of a 'confession') is the equivalent of someone talking to you about a personal, (usually emotional) issue in real life, waiting for a comment, and you only tell them their fly is running low.

While I understand it being hard to read a 'wall of text' or a odd font, it might be nice to show a bit of tact and compassion. Slip the request into the response or conversation.
Or, if it is such a big issue to so many people, then put it in the guidelines. Then there is no excuse if they don`t read the guidelines first.

Somegeezer 11-19-2011 04:06 AM

I agree. I find it hard to keep attention when reading huge walls of things as a lot of people, but it is no reason to make them feel unwelcomed. I don't think it should be in any guidelines on how you should write. I, myself, am not exactly great at writing. If people are that bothered by it, just move along. Any abuse of people over their writing should result in being banned for a short time. Or at least a warning that they could be banned if it happens again.

As a bit of advice to those wanting to write a lot, that you in no way have to follow at all, but try to make your first post concise and to the point. "This is who I am, this is what I want you to answer for me."
It helps people know right away what the thread will be about and allow them to ask more questions if needed. At which point, you can then write all the details you wanted to make the point more clear. Just a suggestion, of course. =]

SNeacail 11-19-2011 04:33 AM

Yes huge walls of text are hard to read, but I can understand why people don't put in paragraph breaks (assuming they are using paragraphs). When I post on "blog" sites, it will automatically insert extra space when the "enter" key (hehe, still think of it as "return") and therefore an extra space is overkill. Getting used to a new site can have a bit of a learning curve. I agree with Sour Girl, you can certainly request they correct their formating at the same time actually address the posters issues.

opalescent 11-19-2011 04:48 PM

I have asked a few posters to put in paragraph breaks. I always do it politely and I also let them know why it's in their best interests - better readability means more responses.

I just cannot read a wall of text. So I have no idea what issues they would like addressed. Once edited, I will happily comment and offer ideas.

SchrodingersCat 11-19-2011 09:04 PM

No one has complained about someone failing to put a blank line between paragraphs. They've politely and respectfully requested that some people use the "enter" key to break up the text into readable paragraphs.

I think banning someone for making that request would be ridiculous. While it's great when people can be compassionate, supportive, and helpful... lack of those qualities is not a reason to ban someone. Now, if someone were to say for example "use your fucking enter key you moron. How the hell are we supposed to answer your stupid question when it's all one big paragraph" then that would be rude and disrespectful and definitely a reason to get banned. But I have never seen something even remotely close to that, and I wager you have not either.

But saying something like "I would like to help you, but I'm unable to read your question without any paragraph breaks" is not at all unreasonable.

It's not so much akin to saying your fly is down. It's more like, whensomeoneispanickingandthey'retalkingreallyreall yfastwithnowordbreaksandyoucan'ttellwhatthey'resay ingsoyouaskthemtotakeadeepbreathandpleaseslowdowns oyoucanunderstandwhatthey'resayingandtrytohelpthem .

Incidentally, just moving on if you can't read it doesn't help anyone. A lot of people with a tons of experience and good advice would be moving on, and then the person will feel ignored. To use your analogy, that's like when someone pours out their heart and soul with a big problem they're having, and you just turn around and walk away. They can see how many people viewed the topic, and it can be just as hurtful to see "25 views, 0 replies." At least a request to put in some paragraph breaks shows that someone is trying to help you, but they're not in a position to do so until they can understand what you're trying to say.

I have walked into topics after someone has made a paragraph request, and noticed that the OP is now broken up into paragraphs. I also cannot read walls of text, and so those topics would probably have been ignored by me. But since someone took the time to make that request, and the OP went back and made that small fix, I was then able to read it and offer my advice. So those requests made it possible for that OP to get lots more feedback from people who would have otherwise just ignored them.

SourGirl 11-20-2011 09:35 PM

Thanks to everyone for your responses.
It`s interesting to see the various ways people see such things.

In trying to find the words, I think I just needed to keep it simple.

- There are people who find it annoying, when others don`t have paragraph breaks. It makes it difficult for them to read.

- There are people who find it annoying, when others correct/nit-pick in such a manner. It makes it difficult for them to enjoy the forum.

Compromise seems to be, ' Hey how about you embed your request for paragraph breaks within the body of the message and answer ?'

'Can`t' seems to be the-word-of-the-day and really, it shouldn`t be. We all can give a little. This forum runs like a machine, thanks to the mods, and newbies. The 'regulars' come and go, and morph in and out of responding, regardless of the way people write.

MrFarFromRight 11-21-2011 05:08 AM

I may be mistaken here, but I'm assuming that "paragraph breaks" means double spacing between paragraphs.

I remember, after my first post, getting this advice to break up my paragraphs. Unfortunately, by the time I read that reply, it was too late to edit my original post, but I've followed the advice since then.

[At times, when two consecutive paragraphs are very short and deal with very similar aspects - when I want to make a bigger separation than a simple full stop, but less than what most people would start a new paragraph for - I'll start a new paragraph but without the break. Such as in SourGirl's OP on this thread.]

If this [lack of paragraph breaks] is such an annoying issue for so many people, might we not ask the technically-minded moderators if they might consider introducing automatic double spacing between paragraphs? As SNeacail points out, this is done on other blogs. Why can't it be done here?*

Of course, that wouldn't solve the problem of people who don't hit the "enter" key at all, so that we're looking at a 30 or 40 line paragraph.
But people who do that should just be taken out and shot. (JUST JOKING!!! - Actually, I think that some of my own paragraphs head towards that length...)

* Only
There should be
An opt-out possibility
For poetry
And the quoting of song lyrics.

mekodesu 11-24-2011 06:58 PM


Originally Posted by SNeacail (Post 111592)
When I post on "blog" sites, it will automatically insert extra space when the "enter" key

this is where my mega post got messed up. i assumed that hitting enter would add the space. but have since learned.

on a side note i didnt think that the replies to put in spacing on that post was rude or anything like that at all. i guess its just how ppl read into it, much like texting.

have a great holiday all :)

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