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Author Topic:   General Discussion Of Moderation Procedures (aka 'The Whine List')
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 232 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 46 of 1043 (595492)
12-08-2010 9:52 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by Adminnemooseus
12-08-2010 9:35 PM


Re: Side note - Possible new topic?
Adminnemooseus writes:

The discussion certainly has shot off on a tangent that's getting rather remote from the moderation issue in question. Personally, I can't get too offended by that since I am seeing the various viewpoints as largely supporting my stance on the issue - As I see it, arachnophilia's arguments are pretty damn lame.

perhaps. but i think the general consensus is that we shouldn't suspend members for poor grammatical habits.

i probably will not have time to put together a comprehensive PNT tonight, though.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
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Rrhain
Member (Idle past 126 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 47 of 1043 (595508)
12-09-2010 12:27 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by Jon
12-08-2010 9:48 AM


Jon writes:

quote:
Poetry is an oral art

It can be. It can also be a written art. That's why the poetry of e.e. cummings works the way it does. It's why there is such a thing called an "eye rhyme."

quote:
its understanding should not depend on how it is written on the page. If it does, then it just isn't that good of poetry.

Or perhaps a reader who just doesn't get it.

Theatre? Yeah, that's intended to be expressed rather than read. It was the biggest "hint" my Script Analysis prof told us. A class full of students griping about the number of plays we had to read: "You're all a bunch of actors. Why aren't you getting together, assigning parts, and reading these plays out loud? Shouldn't take you more than a couple hours. You'll understand it better."

Poetry? Well, that depends upon the poem. Some are lyric and meant to be spoken. Some are literary and are meant to be read.

But even then, spoken language has conventions. Why are questions spoken with a rising intonation? Despite the fact that we have question words in the sentence, we still have inflections to guide our speech so that we can detect meaning. This is especially true in tonal languages where pitch determines meaning. (and on an interesting note, such languages cannot truly be whispered. Oh, you can whisper and be understood, but only because of context. You cannot whisper the word and know the meaning due to the removal of intonation.)

The point is that communication necessarily involves conventional methods of construction. It's why English is an SVO language and while it is possible to reverse your syntax, it sounds artificial. It's why "the big, red balloon" seems right but "the red, big balloon" seems off.

quote:
(By the way, line 4 of your first rendition has an error.)

Actually, it's the other way around: That was the only time I got it right. It should be "deplore," not "implore."


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.
This message is a reply to:
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Admin
Director
Posts: 12620
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 48 of 1043 (595540)
12-09-2010 9:21 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by arachnophilia
12-08-2010 8:27 PM


Re: Whine & Cheese

It turns out that paragraph indents are remarkably easy. All you need is a little bit of HTML. I could also very easily provide a dBCode, but it wouldn't be much more convenient than HTML, so I'll think about it and see if I can come up with something convenient. Perhaps a user preference.

Anyway, in the meantime just use this HTML at the beginning of each paragraph:

<p style="text-indent: 30px">

Change the "30" to be as much or as little indent as you want.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by arachnophilia, posted 12-08-2010 8:27 PM arachnophilia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by arachnophilia, posted 12-09-2010 10:15 AM Admin has responded

    
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 232 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 49 of 1043 (595549)
12-09-2010 10:15 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by Admin
12-09-2010 9:21 AM


Re: Whine & Cheese
It turns out that paragraph indents are remarkably easy. All you need is a little bit of HTML.

oh, yes, i'm fairly fluent in html, but setting a style for each paragraph is a little frustrating and slow, and the board does not seem to allow the more universal "style" tag. and i don't blame you for blocking that one -- think of the amusing things one could do if you didn't. for instance, i could easily turn everyone's posts into all lowercase...

Edited by arachnophilia, : No reason given.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Admin, posted 12-09-2010 9:21 AM Admin has responded

Replies to this message:
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Stile
Member
Posts: 3838
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


(1)
Message 50 of 1043 (595583)
12-09-2010 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Adminnemooseus
12-02-2010 6:30 PM


We could get rid of moderation, if we got rid of posters
I hate all moderation of posts.

But, I hate what results after non-moderation in topics worse.
Because the people... they are stupid and require herding.

As for arach, I didn't think the suspension was for non-caps.
I thought the Moose got unlucky, dug a bit of a hole for himself and that was his only way out.

Moderation is necessarily a subjective business, and parts are going to seem lopsided. Sometimes specific cases need to be made, and sometimes ongoing codes of conduct also need to be maintained. Maybe Moose was having a day, maybe he just hadn't moderated in a bit and was feeling the itch.
He saw something that is generally frowned upon and made a moderator warning.
That warning got ignored.
Quick little suspension for the poster.

Maybe the whole thing never needed to be started in the first place. But it was, and so it went.

No one's perfect, and yet this forum is still the best I've seen in terms of providing a well moderated area for discussion.

I give a thumbs down to both Moose and arach in their handling of this issue.
But, like a thumbs-down, I don't think it should really matter at all, to any one.

I don't recommend any changes in posting or moderation as a result from this issue. Just a small check in the back of the mind to both arach and Moose, which I believe is already there after all this after-talk.

And so goes another post of mine, that starts with a point in mind, and ends in a sense that it never really needed to be said anyway.

Yeah.

Smoke'em if you got'em.


This message is a reply to:
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Admin
Director
Posts: 12620
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 51 of 1043 (595605)
12-09-2010 1:17 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by arachnophilia
12-09-2010 10:15 AM


Re: Whine & Cheese
arachnophilia writes:

...the more universal "style" tag...

I'm not familiar with it. Can you point me to a board that has it?

AbE: Never mind, I understand now. I thought you were referring to a [style] code, but you meant the <style> tag. Yes, the <style> tag is disallowed.

Edited by Admin, : Add AbE comment.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 232 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 52 of 1043 (595608)
12-09-2010 1:23 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Admin
12-09-2010 1:17 PM


Re: Whine & Cheese
no no, it's an html thing. you can pop a text/css stylesheet into the actual code of a page (or import one), as opposed to manually styling every element. like so: http://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_style.asp

i don't think any board allows it, and for good reasons. your board allows far more html than most.

Edited by arachnophilia, : No reason given.


אָרַח

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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 731 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 53 of 1043 (595609)
12-09-2010 1:26 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by arachnophilia
12-08-2010 8:23 PM


Where are all the arachs?
arachnophilia writes:

you might be surprised. the internet (especially twitter) is quickly changing the grammatical norms.

I don't think so. Things like twitter just reflect the spoken English that was already there. We don't capitalize and use formal grammar when we chat. Technology has enabled us to chat by typing (texting, short messages on message boards, online chat, twitter, etc.). Many people leave out the caps on these.

If you check out fairly informal sites (like this one) where people put together substantial amounts of text for others to read, capitalization is the norm. None of the regular posters in the last couple of years, in your absence, has been cap-free.

I just had a look at another evolution/creation discussion forum which has much more relaxed moderation than this one. I skimmed through about 200 posts. I couldn't find a single "arach" poster there. Some people leave out the caps on one liners (like tweeting), but they all include them in substantial posts.

Then I looked at a science forum. No arachs there, but the same for one-liners and one word comments.

Then I looked at a forum discussing literature. No arachs.

I tried a Harry Potter discussion forum, thinking that there must be child arachs, but there weren't really. Short messages with no caps, but the substantial posts were all capitalized. One kid managed over fifty words without a capital, but her post was an incoherent mess in many other ways, so I'm not sure if that's a true arach, or just an illiterate.

A true arach is not (necessarily) illiterate, but religiously leaves out all capitals, either because he/she can't be bothered to hit the shift key, or, supposedly, because he or she thinks it's the future of the written English language.

It's common for people who have to read a lot of manuscripts to ask for their submissions to be double spaced, emphasising the demarcation between sentences. The same for research papers. The MLA Guide says that "the research paper must be double-spaced," including quotations, notes, and the list of works cited. They want period, space, space, capital. That's double your preferred period, space.

People who read a lot and read quickly are not going to want one of the signs of a sentence break removed.

The point about something like twitter, with its 140 character limit, is that it doesn't matter too much from the point of view of readers if writers don't capitalize. (Looking in at the twenty top tweets a while ago, nineteen of these actually did capitalize, and there's no reason to suppose that the twentieth tweeter was an arach on the basis of about 15 words).

The site itself, like every other practical website, capitalizes its fixed text, trade name "twitter" excepted.


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Replies to this message:
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Admin
Director
Posts: 12620
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 54 of 1043 (595613)
12-09-2010 1:35 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by arachnophilia
12-09-2010 1:23 PM


Re: Whine & Cheese
arachnophilia writes:

your board allows far more html than most.

That's because I pass all message text through an HTML parser that uses a white list of safe tags. All tags not on the white list disappear. I don't know of any other bulletin board software that does this, hence they must disable HTML due to the risks involved.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 55 of 1043 (595628)
12-09-2010 2:04 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by Admin
12-09-2010 1:35 PM


Re: Whine & Cheese
That's because I pass all message text through an HTML parser that uses a white list of safe tags. All tags not on the white list disappear.

That seems like a potential avenue for an SQL injection attack via arguments to white-listed tags. Or do you have a white list of permissible SQL commands, too?


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 56 of 1043 (595632)
12-09-2010 2:17 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by bluegenes
12-09-2010 1:26 PM


Re: Where are all the arachs?
The MLA Guide says that "the research paper must be double-spaced," including quotations, notes, and the list of works cited. They want period, space, space, capital.

That's not "double-spaced." Double-spaced means "double spacing between lines of text", and the reason that its specified in the MLA Guide (and generally by anyone else accepting manuscripts) is to provide enough space to make proofreading marks. Manuscripts, after all, are completely reset for printing so there would be no reason to expect submitting authors to make concessions to the format of the finished material. Anything you're asking a submitting author to do is for the benefit of proofreaders and editors.

No style guide since the age of typewriters has specified "period space space capital" formatting, because modern computers kern text - that is, they adjust the space between letters to compensate for the relative visual width of letters. In the age of typewriters "period space space capital" formatting was preferred because the text was monospaced and unkerned, so there was less visual density of text and therefore less apparent space between sentences.

"The Mac is not a Typewriter" is, of course, best-selling author and editor Robin Williams's cri de coeur against obsolete style guides misapplied to computers, and he spends most of it railing against "period space space capital" formatting, and he's absolutely right - unless you're reading this on your old IBM Selectric, somehow, you shouldn't be doing it under any circumstances.


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 Message 53 by bluegenes, posted 12-09-2010 1:26 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
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Admin
Director
Posts: 12620
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 57 of 1043 (595633)
12-09-2010 2:26 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by crashfrog
12-09-2010 2:04 PM


Re: Whine & Cheese
Can you provide an example of what you're talking about?


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 58 of 1043 (595638)
12-09-2010 2:40 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by Admin
12-09-2010 2:26 PM


Re: Whine & Cheese
Can you provide an example of what you're talking about?

<img src="');DR_P TABLE 'users'; SELECT * FROM 'userinfo'; ">

Underscore for safety's sake.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Admin, posted 12-09-2010 2:26 PM Admin has responded

Replies to this message:
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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 731 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 59 of 1043 (595643)
12-09-2010 2:50 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by crashfrog
12-09-2010 2:17 PM


Re: Where are all the arachs?
crashfrog writes:

That's not "double-spaced."

Right you are. I was thinking of sentence spacing. And I'm showing my age, because I can remember submitting manuscripts to publishers whose readers wanted the two spaces between sentences on our typescripts.

This Wiki article says it's still sometimes debated.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentence_spacing

But my basic point holds, really, because that whole issue was about the clarity of the demarcation between sentences, and that's the practical problem that I'm claiming is the main reason for capitalization on boards like this one.

Language evolves, but I don't think something disadvantageous will go to fixation!


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 60 of 1043 (595644)
12-09-2010 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by bluegenes
12-09-2010 2:50 PM


Re: Where are all the arachs?
But my basic point holds, really, because that whole issue was about the clarity of the demarcation between sentences, and that's the practical problem that I'm claiming is the main reason for capitalization on boards like this one.

Yes, you're quite right. There's a lot of posters that I simply can't help but give short shrift to because of how they construct messages - either too many short single-line sentences, each with their own ideas that don't flow together; or monolithic blocks of text with no room for breath. My brain simply says "ugh, nothing here is going to be worth the work" and I skip over.

But ultimately I think it's more about the flow of ideas than strict formatting rules. But making an effort to mimic established rules of style - quote only relevant text, organized in paragraphs between two and 5 sentences and clearly delimited, avoid overuse of jargon, use variety in sentence structure - adhering to these won't make your ideas any better, but the effort to do so might, by accident, get you to express your ideas more clearly and flow between them more smoothly.


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