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General Forge Forums => Site Discussion => Topic started by: Irmo on November 18, 2002, 05:33:38 PM



Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Irmo on November 18, 2002, 05:33:38 PM
Quote
E. Line-by-line replies

Line-by-line replies are the online equivalent of interrupting someone after every sentence and arguing that sentence, taking it completely out of context. It is not only highly discouraged, but if used often, will be considered a flame.  



Just having been pointed at this part of the ettiquette, I must say that I find it to be internally inconsistent, and probably in the long term futile.

Line-by-line replies CANNOT be the online equivalent of interrupting someone after every sentence since the other post was previously made in full. The other party had every opportunity to make their point as elaborately or comprehensively as possible. As such, no interruption whatsoever is involved.

Paragraph-quoting, however, is widespread for one simple reason: It makes it very easy to make the relation from the new post to the specific point in the old post addressed. Point by point replies are widely used precisely because they prevent misunderstandings. As long as the original post is available, trying to tear something out of context only falls back on the one attempting it, since everyone can read up on the actual text.

Cf (as one example) http://www.netmeister.org/news/learn2quote2.html

I find this policy somewhat equivalent to banning speed limits stating that it's impolite to tell people how fast to drive when everyone else considers it a very good idea, since it prevents accidents... The developments have taken place for a reason, and repudiating the developments is likely to produce the same effects that lead to them to begin with.

Though I am open for further explanations,

Irmo


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Ron Edwards on November 18, 2002, 07:52:19 PM
Hi Irmo,

Gotta say, it's nice to have baseline policies questioned every so often. However, a lot of this is empirical. When line-by-line responses are common, people get mad and points get missed, and a lot of the discussion degenerates into (a) painfully convoluted "When you said I said that you said this other thing, what you missed was that I meant that you said it this other way," and eventually (b) veiled meanness like "I'm sorry you got mad when I called you a stupid butt-head."

This is no reflection on you, your version of line-by-line response, or any sort of you-ness at all. It's based on observing the policies and the communities over time, across three extremely active websites about RPGs. As far as I can tell, what we do here is just plain safer.

Best,
Ron


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: greyorm on November 18, 2002, 08:06:09 PM
Irmo,  I believe you'll agree based on our recent conversations that line-by-line replies are different from contextual quoting; the latter being what I believe you are actually supporting.

In the first case (line-by-line), you are responding to a statement, in the second, you are responding to an idea.  You may not see much difference, or you may understand the distinction, but we've weathered the days of precisely what you describe as useful and necessary to written discussion on-line only to arrive at the current policy.

That period was precisely why the etiquette was developed, because (as so many have experienced elsewhere) it is "arguing that sentence, taking it completely out of context."

Or more clearly, taking the discussion out of its own context, because you are no longer discussing the point of the thread or discussion, but some minutia.  If you have never run into this before, you are lucky -- it is prevalent and annoying on every list and board I have been on before this, and without fail leads to exactly the situation the reasoning provided in Etiquette states it does (without hard work by the participants to keep things on track), as well as what Ron indicates occurs.

Responding to a line of someone else's elaborate/comprehensive post is an insult and a flame, because nearly without fail, this method ignores the comprehensive nature of the argument and instead focuses in on specific details which do not give the whole of the presentation justice.

As an example, in an argument about "tools" and comparison to game theory I had some time ago elsewhere, repeated counter-examples of how a toothpick (a tool) could be used for a variety of tasks were brought up in response to my example of how you don't use a toothpick to pound in nails, or butter your bread with a screwdriver, because it ultimately doesn't work very well even if you get it to work, or something else works better.

Yet the actual point of the argument I was making was missed in semantics and the minutia and the response/discrediting of the statement itself, in the reply to the one line.  This is not an isolated incident; this is not atypical: this is why the etiqutte is in place.

How returning to the model you indicate would help prevent accidents, when it is the very cause of the accidents (to borrow your analogy), doesn't click for me.  Forge-wide experience has shown this typical convention is problematic and self-destructive to our goals as a community.

If anyone here has had any problems resulting from the Etiquette, please indicate you have...in my own experience, the etiquette has only improved the rigor and direction of conversation, leading to far fewer misunderstandings and arguments over "what I meant when I said" and similar which are a waste of space and time.

This is also the experience of the moderators as well, or else the policy would not have been implemented in response to the problem.

Also note, the link you provide is speaking about Usenet...this is not Usenet. This medium differs from Usenet in that prior responses to the threads are immediately available to the readers, archived locally, and can easily be found without difficulty or searching, whereas such is not the case on Usenet.

Ulimately, do not confound line-by-line replies with proper contextual quoting; they are two seperate items, though overuse of the latter leads quickly to the former.


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Irmo on November 18, 2002, 09:49:24 PM
Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hi Irmo,

Gotta say, it's nice to have baseline policies questioned every so often. However, a lot of this is empirical. When line-by-line responses are common, people get mad and points get missed, and a lot of the discussion degenerates into (a) painfully convoluted "When you said I said that you said this other thing, what you missed was that I meant that you said it this other way," and eventually (b) veiled meanness like "I'm sorry you got mad when I called you a stupid butt-head."



Well, I've been a member of numerous online communities for quite a while now. I have seen discussions degenerating in only a small minority of them, and then usually involving very specific people. As such, I don't think degenerations of discussion have anything at all to do with line-by-line quotings. If there were a connection, I am sure the standards of online discussion wouldn't have evolved as they have.

I find it much easier to miss points when it is not clear to which part of a previous post a reply refers to. Online discussions suffer from numerous handicaps:

a)One doesn't see the discussion partner(s), and thus can neither draw conclusions from gesture nor mimic.
b)Not all discussion partners communicate in their native language, and thus innuendo can both be missed or seen where it isn't meant to be, idioms can  be misunderstood etc.
c)It is impossible to ask for a quick clarification before replying (other than sending private messages and awaiting the reply, which isn't quick)
d)Discussion partners know very little about the other participants, regarding background knowledge etc.

All that, in my opinion, advocates keeping posts as clear as possible, including what parts of them refer to.


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Irmo on November 18, 2002, 09:58:46 PM
Quote from: greyorm
Also note, the link you provide is speaking about Usenet...this is not Usenet. This medium differs from Usenet in that prior responses to the threads are immediately available to the readers, archived locally, and can easily be found without difficulty or searching, whereas such is not the case on Usenet.


The latter entirely depends on how you use Usenet. Even here, reading the original post requires scrolling back and forth at the minimum and going to previous pages at the worst. However, that is not at all the point, since having the full post available doesn't tell you which part of it is actually being addressed. THAT, and not the availability of the previous post, is the point behind small-scale quoting. If prior responses were the point, then full quoting would be advocated in Usenet, which it is in fact not.

To trail off to discussing minutiae and trivialities is always possible and has nothing to do with quoting individual lines. If someone wants to trail off, he will trail off. It has everything to do with the maturity (not necessarily on a general basis, but possibly on a temporary basis, i.e. possibly in an extremely silly mood, intoxicated etc.) of the poster. Quoting a line is merely an attempt at legitimizing doing so.


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: A.Neill on November 19, 2002, 03:01:20 AM
There is a temptation, if you feel a particular point is in error, to concentrate on that point in order to validate your opposition to a post, rather than concentrating on the broad thrust of the post you disagree with.

‘Course we’d all like to be bigger than that, but sometimes…….

Dealing with the totality of “articles” has worked well for the theory development at the Forge.


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Mike Holmes on November 19, 2002, 06:37:50 AM
I don't think that anyone is advocating ceasing to use quotes to reference what a response is made in regards to. That's all well and good. Remember to use elipses to indicate cut text that may be pertinent, and other good quoting techniques. The only thing that the line-by-line etiquitte is meant to stop is dissection by minutae, and out-of-context quotes. Which are bad to anyone.

That said, I think that for the most part Irmo was doing just fine in the thread where he was accused of line-by-line. Borderline at worst. Certainly nothing taken way out of context, and it didn't degenerate too far into semantics (though it had started down that road).

I am probably as quilty as anyone else of line-by-line activity. But my rule of thumb is that as soon as there is an "I said that you said" coming, or I can see the thread becoming about something that's not really relevant, it's time to abandon the line-by-line, and go straight to "article" format. It's more effective, and it's waaay more convincing at that point. Anyway, the best way to respond to a line-by-line response is definitely to abandon it yourself. Any response to a line-by-line in similar fashion is just asking for trouble. This is the best way to thwart this when it becomes problematic, IMO. In fact, consider approaching at that point from a whole new perspective.

So, I think that we should a) keep the "no line-by-line" policy in the most general terms, but b) make sure that there is an infraction before making accusations about it. Simple quoting for reference and line-by-line are not the same thing. One is useful, and the other is detrimental. I think we can all use our own judgement to determine when the argument is going downhil, and when quoting is still pertinent. Self monitoring where at all possible makes the moderator's jobs easier.

Mike


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Ron Edwards on November 19, 2002, 07:21:57 AM
Hello,

Thanks for the input, everyone.

The policy is remaining unchanged.

Best,
Ron


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Ron Edwards on November 19, 2002, 11:16:40 AM
Hi there,

I just changed my mind. Irmo's suggestion has only been up for a little while, and coming to a conclusion about this so quickly is not fair. More input from anyone about all this is welcome.

If anyone is interested, this represents an example of one of the Forge administrators reprimanding the other for being kind of a jerk.

Best,
Ron


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Jake Norwood on November 19, 2002, 11:24:40 AM
I admit that I've never fully gotten the "no line-by-line" rule, and so I ignore it on my forum. I like most line-by-line replies, as I understand them, and I prefer them to long paragraphs that ramble on-and-on forever. I think that "misbehaviour" should be dealt with individually, and not with a blanket rule to keep us children from hurting ourselves.

Jake


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Clinton R. Nixon on November 19, 2002, 11:28:54 AM
Based solely on feelings and examples from interactions I've had on web-based forums, I agree with Ron that line-by-line replies are rude and not well-formed argument.

I do want to analyze this a bit, though, since Irmo brought up some decent points.

My analysis is: quoting is, of course, a great way to demonstrate points. I encourage everyone to quote when necessary and quote different parts of posts if they need to. However, the line-by-line quote-and-reply makes coherent discussion hard, if not impossible. Most of us here have at least high school diplomas, and many of us have college degrees, but not necessarily in communication, English, or debate. Most of us will say certain things that taken out of context will appear at least wrong and probably stupid. That does not mean our points are invalid.

The line-by-line reply enables people to take the worst parts of a discussion and highlight them in order to invalidate the entire discussion. From anecdotal evidence, it is almost always used to do this.

I want to be very clear about this next part: what is considered "line-by-line quote-and-reply" is determined by the perceived intent of the replier. In other words, it's not a moratorium on quoting different parts of a post in different places in the reply. It's not a demand that you never separate parts of a post in order to refute them separately. It's not something that is verboten in every case - problems are determined by the opinion of the moderators. It is, however, a caution against taking parts of a related thought and splitting them up to refute the atomic parts, which are less than the molecular whole, to use an analogy.

In my opinion - and this is not a new policy, as of yet - line-by-line quote-and-reply is still not permissible on the Forge when it is an attempt to invalidate discussion by invalidating a specific part of it, and should always be very carefully considered before use.


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Maurice Forrester on November 19, 2002, 11:31:14 AM
Quote from: Jake Norwood

I think that "misbehaviour" should be dealt with individually, and not with a blanket rule to keep us children from hurting ourselves.


Well said.  

If the problem is, as Mike Holmes put it above, "dissection by minutae, and out-of-context quotes" then the forum guidelines should address that directly rather than by proxy.


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: greyorm on November 19, 2002, 05:01:02 PM
Quote from: crowquill and others
then the forum guidelines should address that directly rather than by proxy

I agree...and then I disagree.

I see the argument for dealing with the situation specifically as a good idea, for precisely the reasons specified. Yet, having seen the problems created by line-by-line on too many mailing lists to count (as well as Usenet), it makes me nervous.

Humans are quick to fall into traps of their own making; that is, in this case one can use a line-by-line reply and quickly slip into dissection of minutia and out-of-context quoting without necessarily meaning to...or once one does, deny the error and defend oneself, thus leading to the typical "did not/did too" fare, or arguing that any respondents are not listening to your points (if they themselves rightly avoid the issue), etc.

Better to simply head the problem off at the pass -- use "preventative medicine" rather than treating the disease after it occurs.

What Jake says worries me a little, however, in that he appears to view the rule as an invalidation of adulthood and responsibility (I'm drawing this from your sarcasm about about rules, getting hurt and "us children").

Now, I personally, don't feel "spanked" by the rule at all, and I don't really feel it presumes to treat anyone like a child...civilization needs law in order to thrive, it is not merely parental rule demanding conformist behavior presuming no one knows better.

Rules exist to give guidance to those who can't control themselves or who do not know better, and to provide existing precedent when an individual (whether reasonable or incapable of behaving) gives in to childish whim.  They, particularly here, are not for informed, responsible individuals.

Consider: we all quote lines at times, to provide context, and almost never has anyone been called on doing so because it is being done responsibly.  So, consider them a guide of how to act, a primer on the culture of the Forge.

Perhaps viewing it in that context will help anyone with similar feelings about the rules? (I don't know, does it, Jake?  Or am I missing your point?)


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Jake Norwood on November 19, 2002, 07:24:41 PM
I genuinely wonder if we're all talking about the same thing here. Could Clinton or Ron show us an example of a line-by-line reply, either by linking to a real-life one, or by creating one for us to see. I think it would be helpful.

Jake


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Irmo on November 19, 2002, 08:32:17 PM
Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon

I want to be very clear about this next part: what is considered "line-by-line quote-and-reply" is determined by the perceived intent of the replier. In other words, it's not a moratorium on quoting different parts of a post in different places in the reply. It's not a demand that you never separate parts of a post in order to refute them separately. It's not something that is verboten in every case - problems are determined by the opinion of the moderators. It is, however, a caution against taking parts of a related thought and splitting them up to refute the atomic parts, which are less than the molecular whole, to use an analogy.


Personally I think you are opening a minefield here. While certainly in the enforcement of any rules, judgement is needed, perceived intent in written communication, between, in part, both native and non-native speakers is a pretty good way to generate impressions of cultural bias.

Let's look at what the policy is supposed to do. You say:

Quote
However, the line-by-line quote-and-reply makes coherent discussion hard, if not impossible.


If it interferes with coherence of a discussion, I would say it very much qualifies as "disruptive". There are policies in the etiquette on disruptive behavior. As such, the policy could with some justification seen as a tautology, and best fall to Occam's razor "Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily". At the same time, in the form as you suggest it is being handled, since it makes administrator perception the relevant ledger, it creates the impression of being totally independent of the questions whether the administrator is actually involved in the discussion and whether the behavior is deemed disruptive by the participants. Note that I do not mean to imply any accusation of arbitrariness but my fears are that the policy, as described by you, establishes a minefield bigger than the Great Plains and creates a whole lot of target area for potential accusations by those affected by it.


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Jack Spencer Jr on November 19, 2002, 08:42:09 PM
Quote from: Jake Norwood
I genuinely wonder if we're all talking about the same thing here. Could Clinton or Ron show us an example of a line-by-line reply, either by linking to a real-life one, or by creating one for us to see. I think it would be helpful.


I was going to try to demonstrate using your post, but I just can't.

I think that this is a matter of the spirit over the letter of the law, you know?

Quickie example: you know that big globe from the World's Fair in NYC that the flying saucer crashed into in MIB? That globe has a big fountain pool around it. There were big signs everywhere that read No Swimming but in the summertime, there were sure a lot of people wading in the water to get cool and the cops didn't even bother. Why? What was going on? The city knew better than to have a nice swimming hole like that and not let people use it in the heat of summer but at the same time they weren't going to shell out for lifeguards and the stuff like that. Swim At Your Own Risk doesn't have the teeth that No Swimming does, you see. This way, if you get hurt, not only can you not sue the city but they could level criminal charges against you.

Here at the Forge, the point is supposed to be for thoughtful, intelligent, constructive, and respective conversation and discussion. I'm pretty sure that Ron and Clinton don't care if you do sylable by sylable quoting and response so long as your adding positively to the discussion. They just don't want negative posts and this is one way some people have done so on different sites. It's just a law on the books.

If someone posts an intelligent post that happens to go line-by-line, I'll bet they'll let it side. If someone post negatively, not adding to the discussion or blantantly disrespectful in a line-by-line response, then they can cite the forum rules of no line-by-line posting.

It's less a matter of what you do than the manner in which you do it IMO.


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: M. J. Young on November 20, 2002, 08:43:44 PM
O.K., I've been reading, and thinking, and I've got some thoughts.

First, the problem isn't whether someone does a line-by-line response to someone else's post, really. It's whether they insist on quoting an entire post, in any form. More than once I've come upon a post that copies an entire post I just read, and then comments on it below, and my impression is, why? Why not just say, "in response to Walt", or even just "Walt:", and let me go back to find Walt's post if I haven't read it recently enough to figure out how your response relates to his statement? Particularly given that you probably really are not responding to the entire fifteen paragraphs you just copied, there's not much point in copying the entire thing.

And this applies if you go line-by-line, too, copying an entire post but breaking it up into bits.  If all you can say about some sentence is "Right", unless there's some particular reason why your agreement with that piece  matters, why is it there? It isn't, in my mind, an issue of whether you have quoted seventeen sections from those fifteen paragraphs and answered them individually, if you've genuinely said something in response to each one and not filled the space with stuff we didn't need to read again; it's if you've repeated a lot of material that isn't really relevant to what you want to say, and then tried to say something about it anyway, saying nothing.

A poster on the CGG list has a sig file that reads, "Your mother called; trim your quotes."

I suggest the policy isn't about line-by-line responses, but about limiting your quotes to material that must be repeated to be answered. I think I was able to write this post and make my points without quoting anyone's previous posts; and I think that I have answered things said in those other posts in a way that is clear enough for anyone who has read the thread sometime this week to understand how what I've said fits.

I say word the policy such that it limits quotes to those necessary for clarity, and mention that both line-by-line responses and quotes of entire posts or lengthy sections are suspect in this regard, as it is commonly the case that such quoting styles are repeating material unnecessarily.

--M. J. Young


Title: Someone asks for and example...
Post by: Mark D. Eddy on November 22, 2002, 12:47:03 PM
And then Irmo, one of the 'line-by-line' proponents, gives us all a decent example of a line-by-line response. Taking a single sentence out of a post and responding to it with fifteen lines of argument.

Fortunately, he seems to have snagged the thesis sentence from whoever it was (Clinton?), rather than one of the subpoints....


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Blake Hutchins on November 25, 2002, 11:14:01 AM
FWIW, back in the mists of time I committed an aggressive line-by-line response to some stuff Raven had posted.  At the time, I had taken issue with the logic and some argument-related tactics in Raven's post, so I dissected his post.  He responded in kind, and we went back and forth a little before taking it offline and reaching an accommodation.  It's exactly the kind of tit-for-tat that isn't necessary or productive on these boards.  Mind you, as a recovering attorney, I enjoy nitpicking, especially with sharp, well-written guys like Raven, and it might work just fine as a private conversation lubricated by sophisticated adult beverages, but I was out of line, and I am not ashamed to admit it.  (Raven, I haven't forgotten I owe you a beer whenever we're able to hook up at GenCon, incidentally.)

It's all in the intent, guys.  Quoting for context, especially if you're responding to one point in a long post, is fine by me.  Quoting out of context or with intent to isolate and counter someone's assertion via rhetorical deconstruction, however, that's escalation.  It's a kind of competitive, combative behavior, and while it doesn't exceed the bounds of reasoned debate, it certainly does tend to drive toward a zero-sum result, i.e., it makes the point more about winning or losing, not the win-win of better insight or comprehension.  It  is, for want of a less crass term, dick slinging.

There are, of course, times when you may want to challenge the logic of someone's assertions.  I think you can do that without having to use the text scalpel.  I find the non-line-by-line requirement more challenging; it's forced me to think beyond knee-jerk attorney mode and made my few sputtering insights better ones for the effort.

Best,

Blake


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Irmo on November 27, 2002, 04:02:41 PM
Quote from: Blake Hutchins

It's all in the intent, guys.  Quoting for context, especially if you're responding to one point in a long post, is fine by me.  Quoting out of context or with intent to isolate and counter someone's assertion via rhetorical deconstruction, however, that's escalation.  It's a kind of competitive, combative behavior, and while it doesn't exceed the bounds of reasoned debate, it certainly does tend to drive toward a zero-sum result, i.e., it makes the point more about winning or losing, not the win-win of better insight or comprehension.  It  is, for want of a less crass term, dick slinging.


But:

Quote
IV. Other forum policies

B. Reporting a belligerent poster

If you have a problem with someone that is posting here because of issues on The Forge, please let Ron or Clinton know privately. Do not engage the poster yourself, and do not reprimand him, no matter how long you have been on The Forge.


together with

Quote

III. Posting  
D. "Flaming"

The Forge has its own standards for what constitutes a "flame." They are strict - including any dismissal of another's point without fair consideration, any expression of hostility even in response to perceived hostility, or even multiply posting to someone before they have a chance to get back to you, and anything similar. In other words, politeness and rudeness at the Forge follow the rules of conversation, not the general standards of the Internet.

If you are perceived as "flaming" someone, the following things will occur:

- You will be contacted via private message or e-mail and reminded of this guideline. We will ask you to make a follow-up post or (rarely) to edit your earlier post. You may argue your point with us privately. We are generally an understanding bunch, and will talk to you. Also, if the situation warrants it, an administrator will post in the relevant thread, letting everyone know that the topic has been taken to private discussion.
- If you do not respond within 48 hours, however, the administrators will post a note in the relevant thread detailing this.


already describe how combattive, i.e. belligerent behavior is being dealt with. So why an extra policy that in fact is only a special case of the other, and is apparently misunderstood even by people who have been here for a while like Jake, given that, if it is indeed a misinterpretation, it still discourages context-related quoting?


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Valamir on November 29, 2002, 06:48:01 AM
Irmo, seriously, let it go.

The policy has always been a part of the Forge.
It has NEVER EVER discouraged context related quoting.  Go through the old posts and see that for yourself.  Your fear simply has not been bourne out by experience at this site.

Here's a rule.  If your post contains more than two seperate quotes and the majority of those quotes consist of only a single line or sentence, than you are posting line by line.  If not...your not.  There is not now, nor has there ever been a problem with quoting a paragraph at a time.  For some long essay-like articles breaking up responses into half a dozen seperate quotes is the only way to respond adequately.  This is perfectly acceptable as long as the quotes are a paragraph or two long and contain complete thoughts.

Line by line replies make it too easy to simply zero in on one ill written sentence and derail an entire valid discussion into an arguement over 1 sentence.  This is undesired.

But the bottom line, if you still don't understand or agree with this, is, quite frankly, you don't need to.  This is a moderated forum, and the moderators will make and enforce as necessary their moderator decisions.  Its good to once in a while challenge an existing policy to see if the assumptions behind it are still valid.  And you've done so.  But the moderators have made their decision and its time to move on.


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Ron Edwards on November 29, 2002, 08:53:39 AM
Hello,

Ralph has stated things fairly, I think, except for one small thing: the moderators (me and Clinton) haven't made that final decision. I've been intending to provide links to "good" and "bad" threads to satisfy Irmo's urge for an example, but various things (e.g. U.S. holiday, Thanksgiving) are keeping me busy until Monday.

Best,
Ron


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Blake Hutchins on November 29, 2002, 10:42:05 PM
Hi Irmo,

The policies you cite come about as reactions after the fact, whereas the warning policy constitutes notice of proscribed behavior.  They're different beasts.  Personally, I prefer having someone point out potential faux pas ahead of time, thereby giving me the option of avoiding censure and (potentially) resultant mild embarrassment.

I think line-by-line per se isn't invalid or rude, except when used in an aggressively deconstructive manner, in which case it risks achieving argument for the sake of argument.

Hope that helps clarify things.

Best,

Blake


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: contracycle on December 02, 2002, 11:05:37 AM
I was once asked not to employ line by line replies, which I objected to the time.  I too regard the notional problem as spurious; frankly I regard quoting a whole paragraph as bad etiquette, but perhaps thats just a hangup from old slow modems.  If you really wish me to post whole paragraphs instead of a specific statement, fine: but as a thread has just been locked on this ridiculous basis I have to say I really don't think that my citing whole paragraphs would really have changed the reaction.


Title: Line-by-line replies
Post by: Ron Edwards on December 02, 2002, 12:00:36 PM
Hello,

People persist in missing the point. The issue is not, "Ack, you quoted a single line, you bad man," but rather, "You have responded to this person's post line by line." A bunch of lines, one after the other, each receiving its own response. That is the problem - it structurally contributes to poor discourse.

Best,
Ron