Preferred method of quoting others' comment? March 21, 2007 4:27 PM   Subscribe

What's the proper method for quoting a commenter in a thread? For years, I had taken to just posting the thought in italics and nothing else. More and more however, I notice people pulling out the quote with the post date/time and user name. Are both methods acceptable? Neither? Better to link to the comment in question and not quote it at all? Please hope me.
posted by psmealey to Etiquette/Policy at 4:27 PM (103 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

The right way is my way but I tolerate the others.
posted by smackfu at 4:33 PM on March 21, 2007


If I ran the circus:

- Both methods are acceptable.
- Do what thou wilt.
- But don't use @username.
- Simpler is better...
- ...but link or otherwise provide details as necessary depending on the promptness of your response, the speed at which the thread is moving, and other mitigating circumstances that would make a simple <i> quotation insufficiently clear.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:33 PM on March 21, 2007


"If I ran the circus:

- Both methods are acceptable.
- Do what thou wilt.
- But don't use @username.
- Simpler is better...
- ...but link or otherwise provide details as necessary depending on the promptness of your response, the speed at which the thread is moving, and other mitigating circumstances that would make a simple <i> quotation insufficiently clear."


What cortex said.
posted by Eideteker at 4:35 PM on March 21, 2007


I usually just put the comment in quotes and italicize it. If I am replying to multiple people, then I will get fancy and link to each comment and reference the person by name.
smackfu: "The right way is my way but I tolerate the others."

Ah, but this is the way to madness.

cortex: "If I ran the circus:"

Too late!
Like that, but without the <blockquote>. Oh, and be sure that if you quote someone who uses a quote in their comment that you change their " to ' and so on, as necessary. Or you will be fined.
posted by Eideteker at 4:39 PM on March 21, 2007


@username is the only thing I don't like, and if people just link to the comment and don't quote it, it makes reading the thread an exercise in clicking and swearing, so don't do it unless you think people need a swearing workout.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:40 PM on March 21, 2007


What cortex said.

This is my favorite, but if it's a long thread and people wonder where it came from, you may link to it. So that'd look like this:

Eideteker: What cortex said.

That will jump to the original for them. There are firefox extensions that do this automatically for you, and I could conceivably add a "quote" button to the HTML shortcuts that'd automatically create this.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:40 PM on March 21, 2007


oh god, yeah, the @username thing is really dumb and a thing from digg.com. People don't talk at each other, they talk to each other.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:41 PM on March 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


The best idea would be a real quote function.
posted by fire&wings at 4:42 PM on March 21, 2007


That would be awesome, fire&wings. We could have a button that just generates a random quote from someone pretentious-sounding (e.g. Shakespeare, Tennyson, Baudelaire, etc.), and people who like that sort of thing could just sit there all day, clicking it, and stay the hell out of my threads.
posted by Eideteker at 4:48 PM on March 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


@the_op : asks a question: some people use a greasedmonkyscrout for the purpose of quoting. I, however, hand craft everything. Lovingly. With my hands. Tata.
---------
I vote against signature files... what did you do?
posted by econous at 4:49 PM on March 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


mathowie writes "There are firefox extensions that do this automatically for you"

The one I use is called "Metafilthy". You can probably tell us MetaFilthy users because the link is in the word "writes" or "wrote" or a colon or something, but not the actual user name.
posted by Bugbread at 4:53 PM on March 21, 2007


That, and the filth.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:57 PM on March 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ah.. I had thought that Metafilthy was a script. But it's a full fledged firefox extension.
posted by econous at 4:58 PM on March 21, 2007


*slaps forehead* so that's it.
posted by phaedon at 4:58 PM on March 21, 2007


2mathowie: I hear ya, man.
posted by 31d1 at 5:01 PM on March 21, 2007


I've used several different methods (not always consistently, sorry). To me, it's all about clarity. Sometimes, bolding the username helps. If it's a long thread, adding a link in there can help as well.

And yes, the @ is annoying.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 5:04 PM on March 21, 2007


The way that the @username started to appear here and then was beaten back by the community was interesting and provided insight into the way Metafilter works.

I haven't seen it around now for a while, come to think of it.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 5:07 PM on March 21, 2007


It's around, Sam, rest assured, though lowish of profile.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:09 PM on March 21, 2007


I was a fan of italics. But that only worked when this place was smaller and people could generally deduce who was being quoted. Nowadays threads are too long and there are too many new names to seriously think that italics is the best solution.

My solution? I never post anymore. Too much work. Most things have already been said ad nauseum over the years and I often feel talked out.

BTW, something has been really weighing on my mind and I keep avoiding asking this question because, well, you'll know why after I ask it:

So, uh, now that there are three mods, have jessamyn and cortex ever gotten together and decided to ban mathowie?
posted by SeizeTheDay at 5:10 PM on March 21, 2007


That's mutinous, sir!
posted by Dave Faris at 5:11 PM on March 21, 2007


posted by psmealey What's the proper method for quoting a commenter in a thread?

I format it like that. Copy and paste the quote, move the username to the front and put it in bold, put the quote in italics, put the whole thing in small.
posted by fandango_matt at 5:12 PM on March 21, 2007


THAT'S CRAZY TALK AND I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU EVEN SUGGESTED IT.

Jess, alert a squad, we need a nerve staple out here stat.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:13 PM on March 21, 2007


Yeah, do you now have some kind of Charmed-style POWER OF THREE?
posted by Aloysius Bear at 5:14 PM on March 21, 2007


If love be rough with you, be rough with love;
Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.
Give me a case to put my visage in:
A visor for a visor! what care I
What curious eye doth quote deformities?
posted by grobstein at 5:31 PM on March 21, 2007


CRAZY - TALK - I BELIEVE YOU

i think it's always important to edit what you're replying to in order that the conversation will go better
posted by pyramid termite at 5:33 PM on March 21, 2007


I don't include the username because to me it's only relevant what was said, not who said it.
posted by smackfu at 5:40 PM on March 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Jess, alert a squad, we need a nerve staple out here stat.

I banned myself once just to see what happened and then found much to my chagrin that I couldn't unban myself so I had to wait for mathowie to wake up to unban me and I just watched helplessly as MetaFilter unfolded without my intervention. Sobering experience.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:44 PM on March 21, 2007 [29 favorites]


I do include the username, because it makes it easier for the relevant user to see that s/he has been quoted, and then continue the 'conversation' if they so desire. Also, it makes it easier for everyone else to follow the flow of the thread.

Including usernames is essential when you quote more than one user to prevent confusion.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 5:44 PM on March 21, 2007


the @username thing is really dumb and a thing from digg.com. People don't talk at each other, they talk to each other.

... and so henceforth the style was reborn ...

2username !!!!

seriously, I too think the @ looks dumb and 'reads' dumb, but it's an effective way to 'bold' a user reference without having to use html.

i'd hope the use of the @ symbol was an unhappy coincidence rather than someone thinking "hey, AT USERNAME", but either way, i don't really mind.

posted by fishfucker at 5:52 PM on March 21, 2007


4 fistfucked. You raise some good points.
posted by econous at 5:55 PM on March 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I meant fishfucker. Like that's any better.Unless mermaids are fish as well. Shit are they?
posted by econous at 5:56 PM on March 21, 2007


I notice people pulling out the quote with the post date/time and user name.

I find this slightly annoying, personally. But it's only really annoying when people also copy the [+] [!].
posted by grouse at 6:02 PM on March 21, 2007


Also, don't talk @ people instead of 2 them—don't be a 2@.
posted by grouse at 6:06 PM on March 21, 2007


m@howie
posted by the_bone at 6:16 PM on March 21, 2007


Super thread that - grouse.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 6:31 PM on March 21, 2007


I think that it is important that we establish a standard now so that in a week a n00b can make a new MeTa thread to ask why that is our way of quoting. Then, in a month, someone can post to MeTa about how much the new quoting method sucks.
posted by frecklefaerie at 6:38 PM on March 21, 2007


There is a MeFite (that I much respect) who quotes like this:
"This is what I'm quoting."

And this is what I'm saying. It looks the same except for the quotes.
This throws me for a loop every freaklovin time I see it. I kinda wish that would stop, but have never said so because I hate to pick at my scabs when I'm not hungry. But, you know, since you asked, yeah.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 7:02 PM on March 21, 2007


I use the q tag like all good-thinking people (even though stupid Internet Explorer can't handle them without help).
Then I add italics because q isn't italic in the style sheet.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:57 PM on March 21, 2007


This is all well and good, but what I'd like to know is what's the proper method for misquoting a commenter in a thread?
posted by owhydididoit at 8:37 PM on March 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't include the username because to me it's only relevant what was said, not who said it.

This. In fact, it's supposed to be part of the underlying ethos of the site, and there's a blurb on each and every Metafilter text box reminding us of that fact (which we have seen so often we don't notice any more).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:41 PM on March 21, 2007


Does the lack of that reminder on Metatalk text boxes imply the who here is important - but the what means next to nothing.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 8:57 PM on March 21, 2007


There is a MeFite (that I much respect) who quotes like this. . .

I have no problem posting his name.

klangklangston, for the love of dog, please stop that.
posted by mlis at 9:06 PM on March 21, 2007


I notice people pulling out the quote with the post date/time and user name.

Yeah, that's silly, to include the date/time stamp. Worse is when folks use quotes without italics for large blocks of text from someone else. In non-threaded discussions, italics for quoted text makes the page so much more readable. Starting the reply with a reference to the user name you quoted is all you need.
posted by mediareport at 9:08 PM on March 21, 2007


(Uh, yeah, like klangklangston does.)
posted by mediareport at 9:08 PM on March 21, 2007


@username is the only thing I don't like

Me neither. The one true way is to prepend an o designating who you're talking to, and an x indicating your own designation.

oGSV Bora Horza Gobuchul
x(d)ROU Xenophobe
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:43 PM on March 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


unless you think people need a swearing workout.

I think you just solved the obesity problem.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:44 PM on March 21, 2007


Quoting users' comments is serious business. You should start a new MetaTalk thread about each instance so we can all thrash things out on a case-by-case basis.
posted by nowonmai at 9:49 PM on March 21, 2007


>Hey, I'm on USENET!
>
>I quote everything like this!
>Sure, it looks funny when the line feeds aren't there,
>but it is the *ONE TRUE WAY!*

Well, no, really, I use the quotes and italics, and occasionally a user name. I hate hate hate when someone just links to the time/date of the prior post without actually quoting it. And the @username... let us not speak of it.
posted by litlnemo at 10:41 PM on March 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


See, I'm about to quote matthowie, which was a ways up, so I'll go ahead and add a link so people can find the post I'm referring to.

matthowie: oh god, yeah, the @username thing is really dumb and a thing from digg.com. People don't talk at each other, they talk to each other.

Clearly you haven't spent much time on digg.

See, and now if I wanted to quote litlnemo from right above me, I might not do the link, because it's right above me. I would include his\her words and italicize though. But I don't want to quote litlnemo.
posted by !Jim at 11:15 PM on March 21, 2007


@cortex: What do you mean by "promptness"?
posted by roll truck roll at 11:32 PM on March 21, 2007


psmealey: What's the proper method for quoting a commenter in a thread?

This is the style that I use.
posted by russilwvong at 11:34 PM on March 21, 2007


I don't include the username because to me it's only relevant what was said, not who said it. Good for you. You pompous arse. Tells us a little more about the sacrifices you make. Oh look I'm doing a little faggoty* dance about your damn boring old war stories.

In fact, it's supposed to be part of the underlying ethos of the site. I can almost agree with this, if it meant keeping your problems, in thread and relevant, or alternatively, off site and legal. Or even actually followed it yourself.

*Faggoty in this sense is to be interpreted in its most derogatory meaning. To be explicit: Dancing like a bundle of sticks.

Personally I take things a little more seriously than this which is why when a Queen dies I shall be moderator of some anarchy. And so say we all.
posted by econous at 12:01 AM on March 22, 2007


Do as I say, not as I do. Shitmitten.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:23 AM on March 22, 2007


Actually, @ was used to address a particular person on usenet prior to commercially available email services. Then, the idea was fine, but now, we all read it as "at". I use it to address someone, not quote them, but I agree, it is annoying. I see it being used less and less nowadays and as I am one of the guilty parties here still using it, I promise not to annoy any of you with it anymore.

Regarding quoting: I like the idea of a script and button like the add-a-link. Ease of use and uniformity.
posted by sluglicker at 12:53 AM on March 22, 2007


When everyone else is dead wrong every single time, and offensively so to boot, there's no point repeating the dung in a quote.
posted by carsonb at 1:15 AM on March 22, 2007


Sorry carsonb old chap. What was that?
posted by econous at 2:45 AM on March 22, 2007


Sorry carsonb old chap. What was that?

Well, just go ahead and prove me wrong whydoncha? Sheesh.

posted by carsonb at 3:08 AM on March 22, 2007



You could just add REL="nofollow" on the links to feeds.
posted by econous at 3:10 AM on March 22, 2007


q isn't italic

more like gaelic.
posted by quonsar at 4:12 AM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


klangklangston, for the love of dog, please stop that.

Dog pile! Please learn to use the i tag for quotes and how to do a proper link. It is not difficult, and improves the ease of use and reading of the site no end.
posted by Wolof at 4:25 AM on March 22, 2007


> Unless mermaids are fish as well. Shit are they?

They may be mammals on top, but at best there's only cloaca down below.

> Actually, @ was used to address a particular person on usenet prior to commercially available email services.

@ notation for email predates Usenet by eight years.
posted by ardgedee at 5:15 AM on March 22, 2007


They may be mammals on top, but at least there's only cloaca down below.

Looking up cloaca almost made me cry. This little smiling beauty made it better. And I thought I'd always abort the little fuckers if they weren't perfect. Anyone not happy to have her in their life had better recheck their humanity permits at the door. She looks so fucking happy!!
posted by econous at 5:44 AM on March 22, 2007


An alternative method of quoting another members comment is exlempifielyeeeed here.

Fig.

psmealey, [who gives a damn shit [insult_IVI] about] psmealey's Preferred method of quoting [select ninga *{That's all the proof you have, and will ever have. Everything else is an illusion. An illusion you and I and every sensible person will call evidence, but evidence is not proof. }]others' comment?

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I'm half crazy all for the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage. But you'll look sweet upon the seat o[END]
posted by econous at 5:59 AM on March 22, 2007


Learn to quit while you're ahead, econous. Or at least before you start coming off like a bitter bunksock of cretinousness.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 6:05 AM on March 22, 2007


@ notation for email predates Usenet by eight years.

For some reason, I was thinking late 70's for usenet and early 80's for email.

"The ARPANET computer network made a large contribution to the evolution of e-mail. There is one report indicating experimental inter-system e-mail transfers on it shortly after ARPANET's creation. In 1971 Ray Tomlinson created what was to become the standard Internet e-mail address format, using the @ sign to separate user names from host names." ^

"In 1979, two students at Duke University, Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis, came up with the idea of using simple Bourne shell scripts to transfer news and messages on a serial line with nearby University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Following public release of the software, the mesh of UUCP hosts forwarding on the Usenet news rapidly expanded." ^

I stand corrected.
posted by sluglicker at 6:19 AM on March 22, 2007


It's sweet that I thought you thought I was ahead even before the whole bunksock thing. Thanks for the advice and hosted from Uranus.
posted by econous at 6:24 AM on March 22, 2007


Yeah, I did laugh earlier.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 6:26 AM on March 22, 2007


sluglicker: ^ ... ^

Ohnoyoudi-int!
posted by Rock Steady at 7:54 AM on March 22, 2007


I notice people pulling out the quote with the post date/time and user name.

I find this slightly annoying, personally. But it's only really annoying when people also copy the [+] [!].

posted by grouse at 9:02 PM on March 21

Fuck You, you fuckity fucking fuckwad (and the fuckingly fuckish high horse you rode in on.)

Note: I post day and time stamp because I find it helpful to locate the quote. Also I am too lazy to actually to anything more than cut/paste/Italicize.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:21 AM on March 22, 2007


I don't include the username because to me it's only relevant what was said, not who said it.

Which makes it really hard for other people to follow a specific line of conversation or debate.

See?
posted by spaltavian at 8:59 AM on March 22, 2007


But the point you're addressing is easy to follow, spaltavian; if I have been reading the thread, I recognize the statement you're quoting, even if I don't know who said it. If I really need to know that, I can figure it out with five seconds of copy/find/paste, but it's hardly necessary to follow the line of conversation itself. And most of the time, it is the conversation and not the conversant that matters.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:02 AM on March 22, 2007


Empathy, folks. Anyone who does anything more than the minimal double-quoting is going out of their way to be helpful. So if you say that it "really annoys" you or the like, then you're being insulting to someone trying to be helpful. That's particularly hurtful. And so they react strongly.

As for the attribution thing, in my opinion there's a big distinction between dissuading the cult of personality and being respectful about who writes what. It should matter to you who wrote something because that's simply a matter of respecting other people as individuals like oneself. What people say and do should always be primary, and one should endeavor to be fair, but people want to interact with other people as individuals with personalities and thus disregarding the authorship of something is rude.

That's not to say that all quotes should be attributed. A more courteous strategy would be to use someone's name in the content of your reply to what they've said.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:13 AM on March 22, 2007


Yes, Ethereal Bligh, I agree. Including your interlocutor's username in the first sentence of your reply, and perhaps bolding it so it stands out for people scanning the thread, creates a pleasant, relaxed conversational style.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 9:20 AM on March 22, 2007


I don't think that failing to specifically refer to the author of a quoted comment can be chalked up to active disattribution or any such thing, EB. I hear your point and agree that a sense of the authorship of a conversation has value, but some of that comes from the reading of the thread, and not just a given comment—in a sense, not constantly referring to the author of quoted material is a casual expression of respect for threads as a whole, and is more pro-conversation in that way than cliffs-noting the personality side of it through constant reference.

Which is maybe arguing too hard in the other direction, but do you see what I'm saying?
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:22 AM on March 22, 2007


My preference is for the simplest and the least personality-focused method, also. The folk system which has evolved is to cut and paste the relevant segment in italics; it's universally understood here. It ain't broke, so I don't think it needs fixing. Cortex's comment is a noteworthy one:

...if I have been reading the thread, I recognize the statement you're quoting...

That's entirely true. And it might be that italics without identification encourage people to track a thread better, rather than jump in without an awareness of what has already been said.

When the discussion is flying fast, and one person is trying to address comments from multiple users, then it's helpful to follow the quote with a direct address to the specific user, as EB suggests. I think the combination of those two strategies meets every need.

I'd hate to see a quote function. I've never seen a forum in which the quote function looks good. There's usually some quite distracting box around the quote; and then when someone wants to reply to the comment containing the quote, you get nested boxes (*shudder*). For me, the beauty of MeFi is its emphasis on plain old words, mimicking actual conversation, as opposed to graphic organizers.

I use the blockquote when quoting a long piece of text from a source outside MeFi.

klangklangston's use of quotes doesn't bother me terribly; it follows newspaper and periodical style, so it's something we're all used to parsing from other contexts. The italics have served MeFi well and I would like that to continue unassailed. Now, if I can only remember to italicize the quote I'm quoting...
posted by Miko at 9:38 AM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


I agree with Aloysius Bear, but I do think that bolding is excessive and detracts from that "pleasant, relaxed conversational style".

There's a couple of different things at stake here. The first is what I've already commented upon: interacting with people respectfully as individuals while ensuring that the substance of the discourse is primary and cult of personality is diminished. The second, revealed in the contrast between how Aloysius Bear and I attributed each other, is the interplay between fully inclusive group discourse and public individual-to-individual discourse that occurs as part of a group discussion. I wonder if a preference for one or the other is merely a matter of taste. In my case, though, I'm not comfortable with addressing someone directly in the context of a group discussion like this because it seems to me it signals to everyone else that I'm not talking to them and not participating in the group discussion...just a side conversation with a particular person.

In contrast, attributing something that someone else has said while addressing the group seems to me to both signal that the group, inclusive discussion is paramount while at the same time acknowledging a particular person's contribution. And I do think the latter is important. It's especially important with regard to people who don't participate very much. It encourages them. It implicitly says that their participation is important. It seems to me that what I'm encouraging is distinct from what you're arguing against, cortex.

(That shift to direct addressing of cortex seemed "right" to me. In fact, thinking about it, I think that a "nod to the person" is preferable and warmer. The only context in which I avoid it is at the beginning, where it might give the wrong signal to everyone else that I'm initiating one-on-one conversation. Within a comment, or at the end, there's no risk of that. And because it's warmer, I think it's preferable.)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:44 AM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Miko writes "I'd hate to see a quote function. I've never seen a forum in which the quote function looks good."

Me neither, but my problem isn't with the nested boxes, but the particulars of how it works: instead of selecting a section of text, clicking "quote", and getting a box with that quote, it always works by clicking a quote button which quotes the entire comment, and then the quoter is supposed to pare out the extra. But they never do, so you get a giant quote nest of 1000 comments, when all the quoter really wanted to quote was one sentence, and the quoter was just too lazy to bother removing the cruft.
posted by Bugbread at 9:48 AM on March 22, 2007


In contrast, attributing something that someone else has said while addressing the group seems to me to both signal that the group, inclusive discussion is paramount while at the same time acknowledging a particular person's contribution. And I do think the latter is important. It's especially important with regard to people who don't participate very much. It encourages them. It implicitly says that their participation is important. It seems to me that what I'm encouraging is distinct from what you're arguing against, cortex.

Ah, I follow you, and I agree. I suppose the tricky part, in my eyes, is that though these are distinct arguments, they can't help but collide a little bit. The balance of the two requires a bit of effort; and I will say that of all people, you tend to do an excellent job of this sort of thing, EB.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:54 AM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


My impression of the proposed quote button is that it wouldn't actually pull the text out for you. You would still have to select and copy the text you want quoted into the comment box. The button would just add some standard tag (such as "q") around the text (like the "B" and "I" buttons do now), which can then be styled via CSS.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 9:58 AM on March 22, 2007


"The balance of the two requires a bit of effort; and I will say that of all people, you tend to do an excellent job of this sort of thing, EB."

It's kind of you to say so, cortex, but I'm certain I could do much better. Or at least do it much more regularly. The general quality of my participation on MeFi seems to oscillate between something of such low quality that I very much dislike the person I'm "being" and something that approaches what I know I am capable of and, in fact, achieved constantly when I was in my seminar-intensive college. The kinds of things we're talking about really make a larger difference in the quality of discussion and satisfaction of the entire group than people expect.

Being interactive instead of lecturing (a big problem for me in the online context), complimenting people when they've been insightful, acknowledging their contribution directly, encouraging those who are shy, connecting the insights of two or more people, encouraging a developing consensus while maintaining integrity...a single person doing these things well can make a huge difference for the entire group. Even moreso when multiple people are active in this way. I've done this regularly and well in real life (though in a controlled setting) and thus that's become the standard by which I judge the quality of my online interaction. Which suffers horribly in comparison.

But that's not to say that I can't do better, or that anyone else can't. I think we all can.

Anyway, that's a bit of a digression and part of why my comment was directed specifically to you, cortex. That and responding to a compliment, the etiquette of which is always a bit confounding to me (I always hesitant to respond for fear that it seems like I'm drawing more attention to it). I completely agree that this is a balancing act and, furthermore, I think you may be more right about this than I am given the context of MeFi which seems to be saturated in the cult of personality. Perhaps it requires a strong correction in the other direction to combat it, thus attributions do more harm than good. I don't know. I think I'd prefer to somehow encourage people to pay closer attention to content and to be fair about it while being aware of individual personalities because that's the ideal. To be truly fair to other people as individual people. We shouldn't have to make them faceless and nameless to manage impartiality.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:55 AM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


When I see "@breezeway," I'm all like, "Strudel breezeway, say what? Who the fuck stuck this pastry on me?"
posted by breezeway at 4:35 PM on March 22, 2007

<blockquote><small>You don't need <i>italics</i> when you blockquote, folks.</small></blockquote>
Just so you know.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:48 PM on March 22, 2007

I find this slightly annoying, personally. But it's only really annoying when people also copy the [+] [!].
Fuck You, you fuckity fucking fuckwad (and the fuckingly fuckish high horse you rode in on.)

I find John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, as exemplified by Secret Life of Gravy, slightly annoying as well.
posted by grouse at 12:55 AM on March 23, 2007


The problem with the Fuckwad Theory lies in the premise "normal person."
posted by Miko at 6:03 AM on March 23, 2007


I find John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, as exemplified by Secret Life of Gravy, slightly annoying as well.
posted by grouse at 3:55 AM on March 23 [+]
[!]

Oh goodness gracious. You are so very right, Grouse. In real life if I found you to be a bit dickish I would merely freeze you with a withering glance, turn my back on you and proceed to snigger at you with my friends. But since that isn't so easily accomplished on the internet I can only playfully express my disdain for your opinion by making up words. Oh bad, bad Secret Life of Gravy so deeply cloaked in anonymity.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:25 AM on March 23, 2007


You are so very right, Grouse.

Thanks, glad you have come to your senses. Personally I think it is hard to justify even a "withering glance" in response to an expressed personal preference in a thread that asks for opinions on the same topic, let alone a string of invective and insults.

I already know that many people feel that common concepts of civility and pluralism do not apply on MetaFilter, and sometimes fall short of the ideals myself, but not quite as spectacularly. I think this is unfortunate.
posted by grouse at 7:54 AM on March 23, 2007


Smells like hurt feelings in here.
posted by breezeway at 9:44 AM on March 23, 2007


No, my concession to style was including a break between quote and new text. I find italics harder to read while skimming, and generally expect the person who wrote the quote to recognize their own writing. Occassionally, I'll address them by name.
This may be a periodicals/newspaper style issue, but since I rarely have any trouble with the method I use when others employ it (sometimes I have to scroll up when multiple folks are quoted in one comment, but not often), I don't really feel like making it harder for me to read in order to make it easier for some others. Hope that doesn't sound too ungracious.
Besides, as Wolof points out, I don't know any of the HTML for links or italics, having never used them in any context. I don't even know where the buttons are that might make them happen.
posted by klangklangston at 7:34 AM on March 24, 2007


<i>italics</i>
<b>bold</b>

Which is not to imply that you should or must employ them, but you're a smart guy and should be made aware of these things.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:07 PM on March 24, 2007


that would be....

<em>emphasis</em>
<strong>strong</strong>
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:11 PM on March 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to make it easy on the fella. Don't give me your deprecation lectures. Besides, I resent the over-abstraction of "emphasis" and "strong" as descriptors. I want bold and italic, god damn you—whether the results are intended as emphatic or strong is another question entirely. Your ontology is repressive!
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:15 PM on March 24, 2007


Your ontology is repressive!

And your disrespect for the blind is appalling! I am so giving you a noogie at the bar tomorrow.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:20 PM on March 24, 2007


Clearly, cortex is callous.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:30 PM on March 24, 2007


Clearly, cortex is callous.

And the resultant loss in fine sensation to my fingertips has hindered my ability to learn braille and thus left me embittered. I cannot tell a lie.

I am so giving you a noogie at the bar tomorrow.

Admin fight!
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:32 PM on March 24, 2007


"And the resultant loss in fine sensation to my fingertips has hindered my ability to learn braille and thus left me embittered."

Your disability has left you insensitive to another's.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:40 PM on March 24, 2007


"Which is not to imply that you should or must employ them, but you're a smart guy and should be made aware of these things."

Sometimes, when I'm not sure that sarcasm will render, I try to include an extra sentence that will let the reader know. I would have italicized your quote, cortex, but since I've never ever used italics or bold to indicate emphasis, or linked to some other URL in my comment, I just wouldn't know where those tags go. Or what order to click those little things at the bottom of the posting box.
posted by klangklangston at 1:11 PM on March 24, 2007


FYI, italics means slanty letters and bold means fat.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:45 PM on March 24, 2007


[NOT RACIST OR FATIST]
posted by klangklangston at 2:54 PM on March 24, 2007


Speak for yourself, Chubby McBrownskin.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:58 PM on March 24, 2007


Eideteker: Ah, but this is the way to madness.

THIS IS SPARTAAAAAAAAAA
posted by 29 at 3:17 PM on March 24, 2007


In my mind I have dubbed this the "Don't You Wish Everyone Did Everything Exactly Like You Do?" thread. Which pretty much sums up most Metatalk complaints.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:14 PM on March 24, 2007


Actually some people come to MetaTalk just to complain about MetaTalk. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:26 PM on March 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


"the "Don't You Wish Everyone Did Everything Exactly Like You Do?" thread."

Where's the "Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me?" thread?
(Very few people wish their girlfriends were hot like me, I'll wager.)
posted by klangklangston at 5:34 PM on March 24, 2007


« Older Hope the Lazy   |   RSS feeds on Google Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments