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Discouraging solid blocks of text


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I suppose maybe it's because more and more people are using mobile devices to post their messages – but we are getting increasing numbers of people who post solid blocks of text without proper spacing and often without proper punctuation.

No paragraph returns – nothing.

It really makes it quite difficult to read – and I'm talking about posts which can be a dozen lines of text – or even more.

It would be great to have some way of detecting this so that a message comes up encouraging – or even insisting that the person making the post restructures their message so that it contains paragraph returns and punctuation in order to make it easy to read.

 

Edited by BankFodder
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10 hours ago, BankFodder said:

I suppose maybe it's because more and more people are using mobile devices to post their messages – but we are getting increasing numbers of people who post solid blocks of text without proper spacing and often without proper punctuation.

No paragraph returns – nothing.

It really makes it quite difficult to read – and I'm talking about posts which can be a dozen lines of text – or even more.

It would be great to have some way of detecting this so that a message comes up encouraging – or even insisting that the person making the post restructures their message so that it contains paragraph returns and punctuation in order to make it easy to read.

 

As a preface, I don't speak for the IPS development team - I'm a volunteer community advocate so my words are my own.  

I personally appreciate a well-crafted paragraph that ebbs and flows, with a topic sentence, supporting evidence, and a concluding remark.  There's an art to written communication, and punctuation and form can elevate the delivery of the communication.

However, I don't think anyone can argue that the delivery of common communication is the responsibility of the software.  The software contains abundantly reasonable formatting with support for universal typesetting input, and if the user chooses not to use a space bar or return key, then I'm not sure how that burden shifts to the software. 

You would be better served sending a gentle personal message to the offending user encouraging him to use browser tools like Grammarly or Microsoft Editor to help him with his grammar, spelling, and style checking.  

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for all the interest, but of course the suggestions don't address the suggestion that I'm making about a possible feature.

What you are doing is proposing a workaround and of course you don't know the extent of the problem, the size of the forum, the size of our site team, or how busy we are generally.

Having to send personal messages to people and encouraging to use other software makes life even more difficult for us and also assumes that the people who are coming to the forum and posting the stories are sufficiently competent to be able to access and use that kind of software.

I really much rather that people simply address the suggestion I've made for a feature – or simply just to leave it. But whichever, it would be nice if there was such a feature.

Edited by BankFodder
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